Serbian parliament meets in constitutive session; fmr MPs arrested

Serbian parliament meets in constitutive session; fmr MPs arrested

Serbian parliament meets in constitutive session; fmr MPs arrested Izvor: Tanjug/Zoran Žestić

The Serbian parliament held its constitutive session on Monday to confirm the mandates of the MPs who won seats at the June 21 elections.

The session closed once the administrative proceedings were completed. It was chaired by the oldest MP Smilja Tisma of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS). The Serbian parliament’s first session is traditionally chaired by the oldest MP. MPs observered pandemic precautionary measures, wearing masks and keeping a distance.  

Outside the parliament building, a crowd headed by defrocked monk Antonije Davidovic protested, throwing eggs and tomatoes at the steps leading up to the entrance to the building once they saw MPs leaving. Security closed the main entrance and police officers were reported to have led one of the protesters away.  

The police detained former MPs Srdjan Nogo and Zoran Radojicic under suspicion "of calling for the violent change of the Constitutional order."

They were ordered 48 hours in custody. Their defence lawyer Marko Pusica said it was "an absurd to suspect someone of that crime because of a single paintball rifle found in a car boot."

The crime carries punishment from six months to six years in prison, he added.

"That is directly linked to their political activities, and we believe that is a staged political process by the regime," Pusica told N1.

Parliament will meet again next week, according to MPs from the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) which holds a majority of seats. The next session of parliament should elect a speaker and deputy speakers.  

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