I SWEAR that I will perform my duties as a member of parliament devotedly, honestly, conscientiously and faithfully to the Constitution, defend human and minority rights and civil liberties, and serve the citizens of Serbia, truth and justice to the best of my knowledge and skill!
With these words of the MP, the 13th convocation of the Assembly of Serbia was constituted yesterday, four months after the holding of the parliamentary elections. Despite the fact that he recently refused to chair the first session of the Belgrade Parliament, the oldest deputy in the republic, Vladeta Janković (82) from the “United for the Victory of Serbia” list, at the beginning nevertheless accepted the role of chairman. He was assisted in his work by the youngest members of the four electoral lists that gained the most trust of the citizens, Nikola Bokan from the list of progressives, Pavle Grbović from “Uježdinih”, Dubravka Kralj from the SPS and Jelena Bogdanović from the NADA coalition.
Although the MPs walked into the assembly hall in a good mood, politely exchanging a few words with political dissenters, if the day is known by the morning, parliamentary life will be turbulent and colorful. Janković first greeted the deputies after taking the gong, and after the verification of the mandate, he used the opportunity to express his position “in honor of parliamentarism”, apostrophizing the importance of the election. And his address caused a stir in the assembly hall.
He said that his speech should not be understood as an expression of his personal or political bias, but essentially referred to the results of the elections in Serbia, stating that without fair elections, any country, like, as he said, Serbia, would have into such a form of one-party system, in which one political party with an undisputed leader keeps a large part of society in ignorance and denies basic freedoms and rights. In this context, he addressed the MPs with the words that the trust will be justified only if “the heart of our country beats under the parliament dome”, and not, as he says, “on the other side of the park”, alluding to the president of the republic. His address was accompanied by applause by the MPs from the “United for the Victory of Serbia” list, to which he himself belongs, while some MPs protested.
MPs from certain parliamentary lists took the opportunity to express their displeasure that, on the one hand, as they stated, the lectern was misused already in the first session, during the 60-minute break, which was the allotted time for mandate verification, after singing the national anthem and taking over the duties of the chairman. They resented the applause, because “parliament is not a place for ovations”, while on the other hand they also resented the displeasure expressed by the progressive MPs. So the initial enthusiasm subsided very quickly.
The candidate for the President of the Assembly, which will be decided at today’s continuation of the session, progressive Vladimir Orlić, stated yesterday that the wishes of all parliamentary parties have been fulfilled. He believes that the representatives of the future majority offered the opposition leadership positions in the Assembly “as no one has ever offered them”.
– There will be seven vice-presidents in this convocation, precisely so that they too would get a chance.
He will get five boards, like no one ever has. They received treatment and opportunity and a more than fair relationship – said Orlić.
More than 100 new people walked through the hall of the legislative chamber to the deputies’ benches. At the entrance, they took the text of the oath, after which they took photos for assembly IDs. Among the new convocation there were also those with long parliamentary experience, such as Aleksandar Čotrić, for whom this is his ninth parliamentary mandate.
Milica Đurđević Stamenkovski, the new face of the parliamentary scene and also the head of the Zavetnik parliamentary club, pointed out that they had prepared thoroughly and for a long time for this day and that they did not skip the steps.
– We are a political organization that is becoming parliamentary for the first time, we will try to justify the citizens’ trust. We will have a deputy president in the Committee for Kosovo and Metohija – said Đurđević Stamenkovski for “Novosti”.
The leader of the Party of Justice and Reconciliation, Usama Zukorlić, said that the deputies of that party will continue the path of the late Mufti Muamer Zukorlić and will advocate for the rights of not only the Bosniak people but also other national communities in Serbia. His party will have the position of vice-president of the Assembly and positions in committees, delegations and friendship clubs.
United Serbia will have eight deputies in the assembly, and Dragan Marković Palma stated that they will continue to implement the program and political goals, for which they and the SPS have been advocating until now.
Member of the new parliamentary group in the parliament, which will be called “Green-left club – We don’t suffocate Belgrade – We have to”, Biljana Đorđević said that their goal in the parliament will be to promote the fight against social and economic inequalities, as well as for the protection of the environment .
Vojislav Mihailović, president of POKS and part of the NADA coalition, pointed out in front of this list that they are the only coalition that remained together after the election and that they will have a club of 15 deputies, and that Božidar Delić will be their candidate for the vice president of the Assembly. And the Association of Vojvodina Hungarians formed an independent parliamentary group with five deputies, whose head will be Balint Pastor, and the candidate for the vice-president of the assembly will be Elvira Kovač.
Dveri leader Boško Obradović pointed out that he will be the head of the parliamentary group. When asked if he would soften his performance in the parliament compared to his earlier actions, when he entered the hall with a stone, he said that a clear and loud oppositional approach can be expected from him:
– We are looking for the position of chairman of the Health and Family Committee and we are waiting to see if we will get the position of chairman or deputy chairman.
This time, the parliament will be much more colorful than before. The word that they will do the best they can in the interests of the citizens was given by 120 MPs from the list of progressives, 38 “United for the Victory of Serbia” and 31 MPs from the Socialists. In the discussions, opposition-minded, as they presented, will be MPs from the NADA coalition with 15 representatives, 13 from “Moramo”, as well as ten representatives each from Dveri and Zavetnik. The colors of the minorities will be defended by five members of the SVM, three from the Mufti’s Trust, two each from Together for Vojvodina and SDA Sandžak, and one from the Coalition of Albanians of the Valley.
In the parliament, there will be seven vice-presidents from the SNS, SPS, SVM, Zukorlić’s SPP, Đilas’ SSP, DS and NADA parliamentary clubs. The Socialists will run for Snežana Paunović as vice president. So far, 15 parliamentary groups have been formed in the Assembly.
The head of the club of progressives will be Milenko Jovanov, Dveri Boško Obradović, Zavetnika Milica Đurđević Stamenkovski, socialist Ivica Dačić.
The agenda of today’s session will include the election of the president of the National Assembly, the vice president, the appointment of the general secretary, as well as the election of members of working bodies and members of permanent parliamentary delegations in international institutions.
MATHEMATICIAN STANDING AT A BENCH
PROFESSOR Stojan Radenović, a mathematician from the list of progressives, in a good mood and with a lot of optimism, took on the role of MP:
– This is my 50th year of work. It is an opportunity for all of us in the parliament to give what we have so that the country can progress, so that it does not stop despite the events in the world. With some tolerance, respect, I hope it can be done – said Radenović for “Novosti”.
CUTA CAME IN A T-SHIRT
ALTHOUGH Parliamentary rules dictate a strict dress code, MPs have the opportunity to express their political stance through dress. Nevertheless, the majority of MPs opted for a strict form, suits and sets, while, for example, Aleksandar Jovanović Ćuta from the “We must” list came to the session wearing a T-shirt with the recognizable messages of his movement. There were also some members of parliament who criticized the “open” footwear, but they also pointed out that they will have time to improve and learn the rules of the parliamentary dress code.
DACIC: WE WILL BE PART OF THE MAJORITY
THE CURRENT President of the Assembly of Serbia, Ivica Dacic, said “farewell” to his old position and before the beginning of the session said that the SPS will support Vladimir Orlić as his successor. Speaking about the formation of the Government, Dacic said that the Socialists will be part of the majority, but that no personnel solutions have been discussed yet, but only the continuation of cooperation. He pointed out that in ten days there will be talks with SNS about the formation of new authorities in Serbia.
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