BELGRADE – The Association of Journalists of Serbia (UNS) and Association of Journalists of Kosovo-Metohija (DNKiM) have condemned in the strongest terms an attack by Independent Liberal Party (SLS) activists on a TV crew covering a story about an incident that took place during a vote in front of the municipal building of Pasjane and Partes near Gnjilane, eastern Kosovo, on Sunday.
Unknown attackers burst into the polling station in Partes on Sunday and started smashing ballot boxes and destroying election material.
While the Silovo-based Radio Television Puls crew arrived to cover a story about the incident, a security guard of the municipal building attacked its cameraman.
“The security guard of the municipal building, Vladan Aksic, started hitting cameraman Nenad Stankovic and was soon joined by several more people who took to punching and kicking Stankovic and eventually confiscating his camera and the recorded material,” the UNS and DNKiM said in a joint release.
The beaten cameraman and the rest of the crew reported about the incident to the Kosovo police, who kept them in the police station for a length of time for no apparent reason, while the attackers have neither been arrested nor questioned, the release said.
The UNS and DNKIM urge for immediate response from competent bodies and for the perpetrators of this act of vandalism to be punished immediately, in order to prevent the lynch law against journalists and media workers in the Partes-Pasjane municipality that has been ongoing for several months now, the UNS said on its website.
The two journalists’ associations wish to remind the public that municipal officials have threatened journalists and media workers with the message that they cannot guarantee security for them in the territory of their municipality.
This attitude taken by the local “security masters” has led to the brutal beating of Stankovic, a cameraman on assignment during the second round of the local elections in KiM, they said.
“The Kosovo police do not want to deal with bullies and by taking no direct action, they are actually helping them; and instead of questioning the perpetrator, they are questioning the victim of the attack until late in the night,” the statement said.
The UNS and DNKIM demand from EULEX to launch an investigation in the incident and also to renew investigations into cases of kidnapping, murders, beatings and desecrations of memorials erected to honor journalists gone missing during the 1999 Kosovo conflict.
They also want the negotiating process between Belgrade and Pristina to include these issues and the issue of the overall position of the non-Albanian media community in Kosovo-Metohija and institutional discrimination faced by them.
Office for KiM condemns violence at polling place in Pasjane
BELGRADE - The Serbian government’s Office of Kosovo-Metohija (KiM) has condemned the vandalism and violence that marred a vote in the eastern KiM village of Pasjane, Gnjilane municipality, on Sunday.
The Office for KiM said in release that unknown attackers burst into the Pasjane polling station, smashed ballot boxes and set election material to fire during the second round of the local elections in the southern Serbian province on Sunday.
After that, they beat Zoran Nikolic, brother to Dragan Nikolic, mayoral candidate from the Citizens’ Initiative Srpska list in the town of Partes near Gnjilane who, according to preliminary results, won the majority of votes at the polling station.
“It is clear that the attack was politically motivated and aimed at annulling the victory of the Srpska candidate at the polling place,” the release said.
The Office for KiM said that during the entire electoral process, the police did nothing to prevent the incident, even though police officers were in front of polling station.
The Office for KiM condemned the vandalism and violence that marred the vote in Pasjane and also asked the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which was supposed to ensure fairness and regularity of the election process, why they failed to react.
“If we are used to the Kosovo Police Service failing, as a rule, to fulfill their duties when it comes to violence against Serbs, we at least expected and still expect EULEX and the OSCE to protect all the citizens in Kosovo-Metohija, regardless of their ethnicity, and to provide normal conditions for voting,” the release said.
(Democracy New World Order, Modern Mafia Style! Force the population to vote in an ILLEGAL election in OCCUPIED LAND. And when they don`t show up, destroy the election boxes. Even Hitler woulld admire the many innovative and opressive methods being used by these new NEO NAZI`s......... THIS is an editorial note made by ME / Den Galna Serben)
DSS: Kosovo Serbs did not recognize false state
BELGRADE - The opposition Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) holds that the turnout of less than 15 percent in the local elections in Kosovo-Metohija shows that the Serbs living in the province did not recognize the false state of Kosovo, unlike the government in Belgrade.
DSS spokesperson Petar Petkovic told a press conference that the “miserably low turnout" announced by the Pristina authorities shows a complete defeat of the government in Belgrade.
If the elections had been held in accordance with the laws and the Constitution of Serbia and called by the Serbian parliament speaker instead of the “false president of the false state of Kosovo”, the turnout would have been much higher, he noted.
Petkovic accused the current Belgrade authorities of “celebrating the killing and destruction of their own country” after the elections results were announced, noting that nobody had ever done that before them.
He criticized the Serbian presidential advisor Marko Djuric who said that Serbia won a historic victory in Kosovo, and that good results of the local elections ensured all preconditions “for forming a community of Serb municipalities and achieving key objectives of our (Serbia's) state and national policy in Kosovo".
The Kosovo Serbs have demonstrated that these were not their elections, that they observe the Constitution and the laws of Serbia, and not the false state of Kosovo and its Constitution, DSS spokesperson said.
Rikalo: OSCE officials have openly backed Pristina
FRANKFURT - During the election re-run in northern Kosovska Mitrovica, OSCE officials created electoral registers, interfered in the work of polling station staff, and openly backed Pristina, Nenad Rikalo, a member of the Central Electoral Commission (CEC), said on Wednesday.
Rikalo noted that the OSCE was directly involved in drawing up the electoral roll, in which there are over 1,500 citizens in the four Serb-majority municipalities in northern Kosovo-Metohija (KiM) who were registered twice.
In northern Kosovska Mitrovica, where local elections were repeated on November 17, there are several hundred voters that were registered twice, but under different identification numbers - from the Serbian and Kosovo documents. Everyone had the right to cast their ballot twice and the OSCE tolerated all that, Rikalo said.
The OSCE's decision that the votes from the polling stations in northern Kosovska Mitrovica be counted in Kosovo Polje, near Pristina, was politically motivated, he said in an interview published in the Wednesday issue of the Frankfurt-based daily Vesti.
They even informed the CEC that mayoral candidates of the Citizens' Initiative "Serbia, Democracy, Justice" Oliver Ivanovic and the Citizens' Initiative "Srpska" Krstimir Pantic agreed that the vote-count be done in Kosovo Polje, which is not true, he said.
"At the moment when the polls closed, they lied that there is the CEC decision that ballot boxes be transported to Kosovo Polje. I have immediately called the CEC chair (Valjdete Daka) who said to me that such a decision was not delivered," he explained.
OSCE officials said that they gave such a recommendation for security reasons, taking into account that the November 3 elections were halted due to the incidents in which the election materials were destroyed.
11/18/2013 4:47:00 PM
DSS: Electoral farce in Kosovska Mitrovica
BELGRADE - Vice President of the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS), which is in the opposition, Slobodan Samardzic said on Monday that the repeat local elections in northern Kosovska Mitrovica had been a farce taking place under very strange and violent circumstances.
There was collective voting at the repeated elections in Kosovska Mitrovica on Sunday, such that did not exist even during communism, he noted.
"There was pressure on the heads of government companies to get their employees to vote and on the employees to get their families to vote," Samardzic stated.
Those organized groups were then tasked with walking from one polling station to the next to create the impression that the people were voting in large numbers, he said.
He described Krstimir Pantic and Oliver Ivanovic, the two mayoral candidates who entered the second round, as the pathetic winners of the elections, adding that they were supposed to wash away the dirty dealings that had taken place concerning the poll.
Kosovska Mitrovica was under siege on Sunday, since there were more members of verious security forces than voters, he said.
He listed the Kosovo police, KFOR, US marines, Italian Carabinieri and unidentified security agencies as present during the elections, adding that normal elections could not be held in such circumstances.
"Whatever the number of people who voted, the elections cannot be recognized as legitimate because of those circumstances," he said.
The figure of 5,200 people who voted is doubtful, he stated, adding that the organization Third Serbia put that number at between 1,600 and 1,700.
The DSS will not support Oliver Ivanovic as candidate for mayor in the second round, Samardzic said.
Pantic: I cannot accept election results, despite my victory
KOSOVSKA MITROVICA - Krstimir Pantic, the Citizens' Initiative Srpska candidate for north Kosovska Mitrovica mayor, said Monday that despite his being the winner, he still cannot accept the results of Sunday’s elections re-run because of ballot machinations.
Pantic told Tanjug said that the re-run elections for the mayor and councilors in the Serbian part of the northern Kosovo city, which took place in three polling centers on Sunday, saw the electoral will of the people being altered.
He pointed out that the ballot machinations took place after the Central Election Commission (CEC) acted on the insistence of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and decided in an incomplete composition immediately after the closing of the polls that the ballot boxes should be taken for counting to the counting center in Kosovo Polje.
After that, Pantic said, the members of the polling station committees from the Citizens’ Initiative Srpska were not allowed anywhere near the ballot boxes for full four hours, stressing that “it is highly likely that during this period, the boxes were filled (with new material) and the will of the citizens got altered.”
He said that the OSCE directly participated in the reshaping of the vote results and that the CEC is to blame for that.
Pantic said that there is even more reason to suspect the machinations as Oliver Ivanovic, candidate from the Citizens’ Initiative SDP (standing for ‘Serbia, Democracy, Justice’) list, had a meeting with OSCE officials only a few hours before the vote and began to celebrate immediately after the closing of the polls.
Pantic said that it would be good if Ivanovic could explain to the citizens what kind of demands he had made and what he had spoken about at the OSCE headquarters.
It would also be good if a detailed investigation is carried out into what was taking place after the closing of the polls from 7.30 p.m. until midnight, he added.
Pantic said that he cannot accept the election results, despite the victory by Srpska and the fact that he beat Ivanovic convincingly.
“I just know that we got a lot more votes and I just cannot come to terms with the fact that on November 3, a group of people were preventing us from going to the polls, and now, after the state had done all and created the conditions for the Serbs to express their will in a free and peaceful manner, the OSCE and the international community is stealing us blind,” Pantic said.
He added that the Srpska members in the polling station committees noted irregularities even in the minutes of the vote, as the number of persons who turned out to vote did not match the number of valid ballots.
“It is clear machinations and manipulations were at work here, and that the results, which are only preliminary, do not reflect the real situation on the ground,” Pantic said.
He said that a meeting of all Srpska candidates for councilors will be held during the day and that the Serbian government will inform the people about their findings concerning the issue, and decide on the further course of action later.