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Serbia: Gov’t formally proposes parliament dissolution - update

Government

The government has sent a proposal for the dissolution of the parliament to the president. In its meeting in Belgrade today, the cabinet, presided over by Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica, also decided to propose the date for the new elections to be May 11.

A statement from the session also said that the government has determined “it no longer has a united and common policy”, confirming its collapse. All eyes are now on President Boris Tadić, who stated last night that the parliament will be dissolved once the proposal for calling early elections is explained. Both local and provincial elections are also scheduled for May 11.

According to the constitution, elections announced in this manner must be held within 60 days of the announcement, which means that Tadić cannot call the elections before March 12. In order for the elections to be held on May 11, they must be announced before March 27, since the law for electing national representatives states that there can be no more than 45 days in between the announcement and the day on which elections are held.

The government, headed by Vojislav Koštunica, was assembled and approved on May 14, 2007, after parliamentary elections held on January 21. A statement will be given to the press by the government after today’s meeting, which is scheduled for noon.

Koštunica announced at an emergency news conference Saturday that early elections would be announced for May 11, because the Serbian government no longer has a united stance regarding its politic towards Kosovo. Tadić stated Saturday that he agrees with the prime minister’s position that keeping the government coalition whole is no longer possible, and added that he would announce the elections as soon as the government formally passes its decision. (B92)

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