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Serbian Assembly Reopened

Opposition MPs in the Serbian Assembly protested over the refusal of all of their motions for the Parliament’s daily Agenda.

Srđan Ilić: Assembly session
Photo: Srđan Ilić / Assembly session

The Session of the National Assembly reopened on Wednesday, after over a month break imposed by the Speaker of the Parliament Maja Gojkovic. The Session started with protests of the opposition MPs whose motions were rejected by the ruling majority.

Opposition MPs demanded to include into the daily Agenda of the Assembly the motion for dismissal of the Speaker of the Parliament Maja Gojkovic, changes in bilateral agreement with United Arab Emirates, and forming of the Assembly Survey Committee for the case of the crashed helicopter, among other.

Gojkovic, who is also a member of the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), imposed a break of the Assembly in the beginning of March, right before the presidential pre-election campaign. She claimed that the opposition MPs would use the Parliament for campaign, so she intended to retain the “dignity of the Assembly.” The current MP and leader of the SNS Aleksandar Vucic won the presidential election held on 2 April with 55 percent of the popular vote.

The leader of the opposition party Dveri (Doors) and MP Bosko Obradovic said at the session break that, for months, the Speaker Gojkovic has refused to put over 50 drafts on the Agenda, and he demanded her dismissal from the position. Obradovic and other opposition party leaders accused Gojkovic of “disrespecting the Parliament.”

“I do respect the Parliament. That is why I decided to give MPs an opportunity to say what they have at my account, but they will also hear what I have to say,” said Gojkovic.

“All motions of the MPs, including the demand for my dismissal, are legal and legitimate, but I do not decide what is put on the Agenda, the procedure does.”

Gojkovic said she will respect the will of the 30 MPs who signed the motion for her dismissal, but the other 220 members of the Assembly who did not sign the motion will also have a say. The ruling coalition in the Serbian Assembly has the support of 163 MPs. For Gojkovic’s dismissal, simple majority is needed.

Sanda Raskovic Ivic, the leader of the MP group “New Serbia – For saving Serbia,” said that the ruling coalition continues to ignore the opposition’s motions.

“Opposition MPs have made many motions and drafts of the laws, but they were all declined. The Assembly has become some sort of a voting machine. The ruling MPs vote like party soldiers instead of voting in accordance with their conscience,” said Raskovic Ivic.

Milivoje Pantovic

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