Serbia’s inter-party dialogue starts; Fajon: it should end long before elections

Skupština Srbije, eksterijer
Source: N1

The European Parliament (EP) mediators and the representatives of Serbia's parliament deputy clubs start an online dialogue on improving the election conditions on Monday.

The MEP s will first talk to the deputies of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), then with its coalition partner, the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), the Parliament Speaker Ivica Dacic said,

He added he would set the time for the talks with the parties that did not want the EP participation.

After the negotiation with both authorities and the opposition, the MEPs would inform the public about the result.

Vladimir Bilčí, the EP’s negotiating team chief, said the inter-party dialogue on improving elections’ conditions was „one of the key priorities“ on Serbia’s road to the EU.

Serbia’s opposition has so far failed to agree on joint action in the negotiations.

Late on Sunday, Tanja Fajon, a member of the EP mediation team, said the aim was to end the talks long before the elections in spring next year to make enough time to implement the necessary changes to laws,  website reported.

Commenting on statements that the dialogue won’t start following the summer holidays, she said that „unfortunately, the EP doesn’t allow official trips for international missions and doesn’t envisage any exceptions… That doesn’t mean we are delaying the process. We started the dialogue in March when we talked to the Parliament Speaker Ivica Dacic, and the plan is to talk to the Government and political parties.“

Asked if some opposition parties informed her they would not participate in the dialogue if it started in September, she said the talks had formally started with the Speaker. „In the meantime, we contacted everyone in Serbia who would like to participate in the dialogue and set time frameworks which are to be confirmed. Our goal is to end the first round with everyone by the end of May.“

„We understand we’ll have to be very effective, and the aim is to end the interparty dialogue long before the elections are due to leave enough time for the implementation of the agreed and create equal conditions ahead of the vote. We have to cooperate closely because I believe we share the same goal – to get more extensive political pluralism and secure fairer, more accessible and more democratic elections for all, including the boycott opposition,“ Fajon said.