Inter-party dialogue between authorities and opposition continues with European Parliament mediation
The dialogue is mediated by former MEPs Knut Fleckenstein and Eduard Kukan, who is once again not in Belgrade today
The inter-party dialogue between the authorities and the opposition, with the mediation of the European Parliament, continued today in the (old) Serbian Assembly. The dialogue is mediated by former MEPs Knut Fleckenstein and Eduard Kukan, who is once again not in Belgrade today.
Djuric: It's not in vain, far from it
"The first session within the inter-party dialogue in the Assembly, with the mediation of the EP, discussed the financing of political activities, and the discussion is taking place in a fair atmosphere," Vladimir Dujric of the Party of Modern Serbia (SMS) told reporters in front of the Assembly.
Speaking during a break between the two sessions he described what was going on at the closed-door meeting, as well as the party's expectation that the dialogue would allow Serbia to hold free and fair elections.
Djuric said that education of voters will also be discussed today, and emphasized that the SMS is taking part in the talks because he believes that not participating in the dialogue that is being conducted with European mediation would in fact represent opposition to that mediation and European values.
He also said that the SMS was convinced that "at one point it will be made possible to hold free and fair elections in Serbia" and that they would like this to happen as soon as possible.
Djuric said that they also presented several proposals, including to amend the Law on Financing of Political Activities, which is currently in the parliamentary procedure.
Asked if he thought this dialogue was a step forward - or if, as Dragan Markovic Palma said after yesterday's round of talks, it was in vain, Djuric said he did not think that was the case - "far from it."
"From the public, and public appearances of the ruling party officials you can see that there's a response to pressure from the international community and that's why we think that European mediation is welcome," said Djuric.
Asked if the SMS was closer to the decision to participate or to boycott the elections, Djuric said he would make a decision once the elections have been called, or when all formats of dialogue, which could lead to better electoral conditions, have been exhausted.
He added that the existing electoral laws have their shortcomings that make it impossible to hold a fair election, adding that their inconsistent implementation is an additional problem.
A fair election guarantee would be, according to Djuric, the adoption of "relevant laws in the Assembly."
"I think there is time to do this by the (next) election," Djuric said.
Three topics on the table
The topics of today's sessions are voter education, voter lists and campaign finance for political parties, while heads of parliamentary groups will have five minutes each to express their opinions on these topics.
The meeting is attended by representatives of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party Vladimir Djukanovic, Veroljub Arsic and Vladimir Orlic, the Socialist Party of Serbia Djordje Milicevic and Zarko Obradovic, the Socialist Movement is represented by Bojan Torbica, and the People's Peasant Party by Marjan Risticevic.
The Party of Modern Serbia is represented by Tatjana Macura and Vladimir Djuric, the New Party by Zoran Zivkovic, Aleksandar Sapic and Vladan Glisic represent SPAS, the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians by Elvira Kovac, and the Democratic Action Party by Enis Imamovic.
The meeting is also attended by the head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Sem Fabrizi, as well as representatives of Cesid Bojan Klacar and Rasa Nedeljkov.
Not everyone showed up the first day
The dialogue started yesterday afternoon, with the ruling parties and representatives of parliamentary and non-parliamentary opposition - but without the members of the Alliance for Serbia, the Democratic Party of Serbia and the Serbian Radical Party.
Social Democratic Party President Boris Tadic walked out of yesterday's meeting, saying that such a format of dialogue could not lead to normal conditions for political life, let alone for dialogue.
The sessions are planned to last until 7 pm today, when the two-day meeting is expected to be concluded.