ZZS IN ENGLISH
ZZS IN ENGLISH
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One of the leaders of the opposition block Alliance for Serbia, the leader of Together for Serbia Nebojsa Zelenovic, announced on Thursday that an one-hour “warning blockade” of the building of the public broadcaster Radio-Television of Serbia (RTS) in the center of Belgrade would take place during the next civil protest on Saturday.

Zelenovic said that the protest on that day, 9 March, would be “full of symbolism” because the blockade of media and hate speech, promoted by the authorities, were same as in the time of mass demonstrations against the regime of the then Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic in 1991 on the same date. Milosevic responded then at the protests, at the time the largest from reintroduction of the multi-party system, by taking tanks out in the streets so as to prevent the protests to be continued.

“Television Belgrade [as RTS was called then] from those times and the present RTS resemble so much that it is clear that the authorities are at the edge of introducing the open dictatorship”, Zelenovic said.

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Former Serbian President and former leader of the Democratic Party (DS) Boris Tadic is discussing with current president of that party Zoran Lutovac about returning to the DS, Politika reports on Wednesday.

If the negotiations bear fruits, following years-long divisions, this would result in the reunification of the DS, Tadic s Social-Democratic Party of Serbia (SDS) and Together for Serbia (ZZS) founded by Dusan Petrovic, former DS vice-president. One of the advantages of this agreement would be creating a single ticket for parliament elections, which would gather most leaders who created new parties following defeat at DS party election.

Tadic, told Politika that “discussions are ongoing on possible modalities for achieving that objective, which I have been endorsing these past few years”.

Leader of Together for Serbia Nebojsa Zelenovic, founded by Petrovic, said that this party “strongly supports the unification of parties that emerged from the DS and likeminded political entities”. Zelenovic told Politika he believes this would also strengthen the Alliance for Serbia, as well as the entire opposition bloc who proposed an “agreement with the people” to protesters.

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The integral version of speech that the leader of Together for Sebia political party and the Mayor of Sabac Nebojsa Zelenovic gave at the 35th Session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, on November 6th 2018, in Strasbourg:

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"Mr. President,

Members of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities,

I would like to thank you for inviting me to address the Chamber and to speak about the dramatic events in Serbia that are on the way to destroy local democracy, political pluralism and undermine citizen participation and representation.

I would like to stress that I am not here to complain. The situation for the opposition in Serbia is obviously difficult. However, the focus of my presentation goes beyond unfair political struggle or competition. It is about the core values of the Council of Europe and the European Charter of Local Self-Government.

As I understand the principles of local democracy in our countries, it is to protect the high standards of functioning democratic institutions which are closest to the citizens. The Charter requires from us to guarantee political, administrative and financial independence of local authorities.

We will show that all three of these pillars are under attack only in those cities and municipalities which are not ruled by the ruling Serbian Progressive Party of President Aleksandar Vučić.

Today the loop is getting tighter and there are now only 3 out of 170 municipalities that are independent of the control of the Serbian Progressive Party and they are: Šabac, Paraćin and Čajetina. These three local governments and their 185.000 inhabitants, as well as 448 local assembly opposition members in other 40 cities is who I speak for here today. We represent different parties of the political spectrum, but we have one common denominator -we are all under constant pressure because we are not controlled by the central government and the ruling party.

It is very easy to prove that the institutions of the system and the Rule of Law are applied selectively. Police investigators, tax officers, pro-government tabloids, are prosecuting only the ones considered not to be loyal to the central government, irrespective of the law and the will of the citizens who voted for us locally.

As Party to the European Charter of Local Self-Government, Serbia should respect these obligations.

Therefore, here are the examples of this suppression of local democracy in Serbia:

Приступница.
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