June 15, 2008

Kosovo Serbs’ to Answer to Constitution By Their Own Assembly

Text of report in English by Serbian pro-western Belgrade-based Radio B92 website, on 15 June

Kosovska Mitrovica: As Kosovo Albanians proclaim the new constitution, Kosovo Serbs say they will counter it by forming a parliament of their own on June 28.

The temporary Kosovo assembly adopted the document in April, which today took effect, four months after the Kosovo Albanians' unilateral declaration of independence.

Kosovo's President Fatmir Sejdiu today signed 41 laws previously adopted by the assembly in Pristina, in line with the new constitution.

All these pieces of legislation are based on the Ahtisaari plan. Until today, the constitutional framework for the province envisaged that laws were signed by the UNMIK chief.

The Kosovo Albanian leadership will gather this evening for a ceremony to mark the coming into effect of the constitution.

Meanwhile, Nebojsa Jovic, one of the Kosovo Serb leaders from the north of the province, told B92 that he will ask the Serbs to remain calm and avoid any behaviour that could be seen as provocation.

He added that the constitution in questions "means nothing" to the Serbs, and that "some kind of answer" will be the formation of the Serb parliament.

But another Serb representative, Rada Trajkovic, says that unlike the Serbs living in the north, those in the enclaves, surrounded by ethnic Albanians, "will have to respect the constitution at least partially", or "face almost daily incidents that will endanger the Serb community".

Originally published by Radio B92 text website, Belgrade, in English 1507 15 Jun 08.

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