A member of the ruling coalition in the Serbian parliament has proposed changes to the law and rules of parliament to prevent MPs from moving from party to party and from missing sessions.
Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) MP group chief Djordje Milicevic submitted draft amendments to the law on parliament to prevent what is called “a trade in seats” and the purchase of parliament seats by parties that failed to win a single seat at elections. Under the amendments, MPs can’t represent political parties, coalitions or groups that failed to win seats. “MP groups cannot be formed by parties, coalitions or citizens’ groups that did not win seats under the law on electing members of parliament,” the draft amendments said, adding that cross-overs and “the purchase of seats” can cause political instability, damage the reputation of parliament and alter the will of the voters.
Milicevic warned that frequent changes in MP groups caused by “the will of leaders and financing from non-parliamentary parties or other centers of power can damage parliament’s reputation even more”. He said he does not dispute the right of MPs to own their seats but added that the will of the voters must not be altered.
Milicevic also proposed changes to the rules of parliament to impose a 10 percent fine on any MP who fails to attend a session without good cause. His proposal includes higher fines of 20 to 30 percent of an MPs salary for failure to appear at voting sessions or when less than 84 of the total of 250 MPs are present. “Some MPs and entire MP groups have not been taking part in parliament sessions for some time but they have not been giving up their salaries, travel expenses or trips,” he said.
A number of Serbian opposition MPs have been boycotting parliament sessions for months, amid calls from the ruling coalition to come back to sessions.