Serbia today votes in a referendum on changes to the Constitution in the area of ​​justice

A referendum on constitutional amendments is being held in Serbia today. Photo: Profimedia

The constitutional provisions for the organization of courts and public prosecutor's offices are changed, and having in mind that there is an interdependence between these provisions and other provisions of the Constitution, the articles referring to the principle of separation of powers, competencies of the National Assembly, the court, and election and appointment of judges of the Constitutional Court.

In Srbiјa is being held today referendum on amendments to the Constitution in the section relating to the judiciary, to which the citizens will answer the question: "Are you in favor of the Amendment to the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia?" by circling "yes" or "no", said the MIA correspondent from Belgrade.

The constitution is being changed in the area of ​​the judiciary to bring Serbian into line with European legislation in Serbia's EU accession process, and the amendment was proposed by the Serbian government to ensure greater independence, efficiency and accountability of the judiciary, greater independence and accountability of the public prosecutor's office, better protection of citizens' rights and strengthening of the rule of law.

The constitutional provisions for the organization of courts and public prosecutor's offices are changed, and having in mind that there is an interdependence between these provisions and other provisions of the Constitution, the articles referring to the principle of separation of powers, competencies of the National Assembly, the court, and election and appointment of judges of the Constitutional Court.

The changes also apply to the way judges and prosecutors are elected to reduce the influence of politics in the process, as they will no longer be elected by the Serbian Parliament, but by the High Judicial Council and the High Council of Prosecutors.

They should vote in the referendum 6.510.233 registered voters, at 106 polling stations, from 07:20 to XNUMX:XNUMX, but despite the fact that a successful referendum requires a majority of the outgoing voters to vote in favor of the Constitutional amendments, the outcome of the referendum question is uncertain.

He called for support for the constitutional changes this week President Aleksandar Vuќi. with a video message on his Instagram account.

- I call on the people to take part in the referendum. It is not a party referendum, it is not a political referendum. I think this referendum is important for the future of our country. It is important because we need to tell ourselves whether we want to continue on our European path. Will we really try to have an independent judiciary and an independent prosecution, said Vucic, who sent a text message to the citizens last night.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I call on you to go to the referendum on January 16. I will say YES, because I want the judiciary to be independent, the prosecution to be independent. "I will say YES to Serbia's further progress." wrote Vuќi..

The Prime Minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabiќ, yesterday also called on citizens to go to the referendum and vote to change the Constitution in the field of justice.

The President of the Assembly of Serbia, Ivica Dacic said yesterday that there are difficulties in organizing the referendum because the composition of the election boards is constantly changing due to the coronavirus infection and that it is a question of how to allow those who are positive for the coronavirus to vote.

And the international community through a statement from the embassies of Quinta member states, The US, the EU, France, Germany and Italy backed the referendum.

- We encourage all citizens of Serbia to participate in the referendum and we believe that it is important that citizens with the right to vote have the opportunity to vote in elections and referendums. We note with regret that the Kosovo Government did not allow the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to collect ballots from voters living in Kosovo in the upcoming referendum, in line with current practice. "We call on the Government of Kosovo to allow Serbs in Kosovo to exercise their right to vote," Quinta said in a statement.

But The Kosovo Assembly voted yesterday resolution which prevents the holding of a referendum in Kosovo.

There is a weak interest among the citizens of Serbia to go to the referendum. Part of the authorities, such as the statement of the Socialist Party (SP) MP Toma Fila, are against the Constitutional changes, and the opposition political parties are divided over whether to go to the referendum.

According to Dragan Djilas's Freedom and Justice Party (SSP), the referendum does not exist and should not be held, and Democratic Party (DS) Deputy Chairman Dragana Rakic ​​said it was a vote against cosmetic changes to the Constitution and that the authorities the only thing that does not suit them is not to go to such a referendum. The People's Party of Vuk Jeremic is also against the amendments to the Constitution, and that party called on the citizens to decide according to their conscience whether they will go to a referendum.

On the other hand, Boris Tadic's SDS, the Civic Democratic Forum and the New Party called on citizens to go to the polls and say "no" to the referendum question.

 

Source: MIA

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