"No rush with Kosovo preamble - look at Turkey"

The chairman of the Serbian National Assembly's Judiciary Committee says there should be "no rush" in "removing the constitutional preamble on Kosovo."

Source: Tanjug
A copy of the Serbian Constitution (Tanjug, file)
A copy of the Serbian Constitution (Tanjug, file)

"I personally think that we should not rush this, because there is the question of the order of events when it comes to Serbia's admission to the EU. We are optimistic, but that does not mean the job will go quickly," Petar Petrovic, from the United Serbia (JS) party and the SPS-JS assembly club, told Tanjug on Wednesday.

He cited the example of Turkey, "which has been for many years negotiating on joining the EU, but has not yet even started preparing to amend its constitution."

When it comes the State Council of Prosecutors and the High Court Council - which, in accordance with the negotiating chapters 23 and 24 would also have to undergo changes - Petrovic pointed out he saw "no reason to insist" on that, either.

"The Assembly only declares (their appointments), it does not make any other decision - other than that they had been elected by their colleagues, and I can't see the influence of the legislative and executive authorities on the activities of these bodies," said Petrovic.

He argued that in some countries, which are highly positioned in the EU, the authorities - including their justice ministers, prime ministers, and heads of state - have "an effectively decisive influence on their prosecutors."

"So the question is how come judges and prosecutors are independent there, but not here," Petrovic said, adding that he was not defending at all costs the status quo - "but ..."

As for the possibility of reducing the number of seats in the National Assembly from 250 to 150, he said that "the attitude of the majority in Serbia at this point was against it," and that his party "would go with the majority."

Regarding the idea to in the future elect the country's president in the Assembly rather than directly in the polls, the Judiciary Committee's chair said United Serbia "does not mind" this - but that the party believes, considering that even municipal presidents and mayors are elected directly, "perhaps the same should be true of the president."

Petrovic spoke in favor of direct elections so that citizens "in some way" know who they are voting for, and who will be their president.

"However, this is a political issue about which United Serbia will certainly will not have a decisive say," concluded Petrovic, noting that the party would, in this case as well, "go with the majority."

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Sunday, July 24, 2016 13:16 Comments: 2
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