Thursday, 9 November 2006

Second Special Sitting of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia in 2006

The Chairman of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, Predrag Markovic, convened the Second Special Sitting of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia in 2006 for 12 pm on Wednesday 8 November.



The Chairman of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, Predrag Markovic, convened the Second Special Sitting of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia in 2006 for 12 pm on Wednesday 8 November.

This was the first sitting of the National Assembly held at Assembly House. At the start of the sitting, Mr Markovic noted that a total of 240 deputies were in attendance.

The Chairman advised the deputies and other invitees that the sitting was attended by Boris Tadic, President of the Republic of Serbia, Vojislav Kostunica, the Prime Minister, His Holiness Paul, the Serbian Patriarch, representatives of religious communities, heads of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts and the University of Belgrade, officials of the National Bank of Serbia, Chiefs of Staff of the Serbian Army, heads of the Security Agency, officials of judicial bodies, the Republic Public Prosecutor and the Public Attorney, the Chairperson of the Co-ordinating Centre for Kosovo and Metohia, the Chairman and members of the Republic Electoral Commission, foreign diplomats, and a delegation of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, currently on a visit to the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia.

Mr Markovic welcomed the guests present, and reiterated that the National Assembly had, at a special sitting held on 30 September, unanimously adopted the new Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, with 242 deputies’ votes cast in favour, and had put the Constitution to the popular vote at a referendum. The new Constitution was confirmed by citizens of Serbia at a referendum held on 28 and 29 October, with 3,521,724 votes cast in favour; this event marked the final adoption of the new Constitution of the Republic of Serbia.

Noting that all conditions set forth in the Constitution and the Referendum Act had been fulfilled, Mr Markovic said that the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia ‘hereby proclaimed the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia.’

After the Constitution was proclaimed, the national anthem of the Republic of Serbia, Boze pravde (O God of Justice), was sung.

Markovic then reiterated that it was still necessary for the National Assembly to adopt the Constitutional Act necessary to implement the Constitution, and told the deputies that the Constitutional Bill would be discussed when the Second Special Sitting resumed, at 2 pm on Thursday 9 November.

When the Second Special Sitting resumed, on its second day, 9 November, the Chairman of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, Predrag Markovic, informed the deputies that he had received a reply to an official request for clarification of issues related to the resignation of several cabinet ministers. Procedural issues had been, in his words, ‘resolved’, and conditions had therefore been met to note the resignation of the Deputy Prime Minister, Ivana Dulic-Markovic, the Minister of Finance, Mladjan Dinkic, the Minister of Agriculture, Goran Zivkov, and the Minister of Health, Tomica Milosavljevic.

At the start of discussion of the Constitutional Bill for the Implementation of the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, proposed by the Government, Mr Markovic listed amendments submitted by deputies, as well of amendments that had been submitted after joint consultation. He then opened joint discussion of the Bill.

The representative of the Bill’s submitter, the Minister of State Administration and Local Self-Government, Zoran Loncar, urged the deputies to adopt the Bill, so that the Constitution ‘could be implemented at once.’

The discussion was taken part in by chairpersons and deputies of all Deputies’ Groups - Serbian Radical Party, Democratic Party of Serbia, Democratic Party – Boris Tadic, G17 Plus, Socialist Party of Serbia, New Serbia and Independent Deputies 9+9, and the List for Sandzak Coalition.

The prevailing opinion was that the Bill should be adopted so that the Constitution could be implemented, and so that existing legislation could be harmonised to the nation’s highest legal document. The Bill would, it was said, also ensure the continuation of integration processes and the construction of state institutions.

After joint discussion ended, the deputies went on to vote on amendments.

Before the Bill itself was voted on, Mr Markovic reminded the deputies that its adoption needed a majority of at least a two-thirds of the total number of deputies, and that, if adopted, the Bill would be proclaimed into law at the sitting and take effect immediately.

The National Assembly went on to adopt the Constitutional Bill for the Implementation of the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, with 210 votes in favour and 22 against.

Noting that the National Assembly had passed the Constitutional Bill with the required two-thirds majority, Mr Markovic announced that the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia was, pursuant to Article 134 of the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, proclaiming the Constitutional Act for the Implementation of the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, at 2.20 am on 10 November 2006. ‘This’, Markovic went on to say, ‘creates conditions for the Constitution, confirmed by the citizens in the referendum held on 28 and 29 October 2006, to begin to be implemented immediately.’

As the National Assembly had discussed and voted on the single item on the agenda, Markovic concluded the Second Special Sitting of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia in 2006, by saying: ‘As we have passed the Constitutional Act for the Implementation of the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, pursuant to Article 134 of the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia hereby proclaims, on this tenth day of November, at 2.20 am, the Constitutional Act for the Implementation of the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, to be implemented from this, the instant of its proclamation. This means that dawn has begun to break over Serbia. Thank you.’






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