Sunday, October 29, 2006

After all, Serbia has not changed.

It seems like the referendum on the new Serbian constitution succeeded. With the hard work of the Serbian government, the political parties, the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Serbian media. The two-day period of voting, all the calls for a 'yes' vote, the exclusion of Kosovo Albanians from voting lists, the showing of 'patriotic' movies in Serbian media worked, not-so-surprisingly.

The most worrying of all the facts of this true Balkan telenovela, is the high turnout of the Kosovo Serbs. With their vote, they agreed that it's OK to exclude their fellow Kosovars from any opportunity to have a say over their future. They showed that they still support a government which hasn't made the necessary break with Milosevic-era policies. All this is about Kosovo, that's why I am focusing on the Kosovo Serbs.

Why is this an issue? It is an issue because the participation of the Kosovo Serbs in this institution will make reconciliation much harder, all other factors held constant. If we put it in time terms, this is going to cost one to one and half years. And who is going to pay the price? The Kosovo government, of course. If reconciliation is slow the fingers will be pointed towards Prishtina.

Of course, this referendum doesn't have any effect on the status issue. It is an open secret now, that Kosovo will be independent.

B92 - News - Politics - CeSID: Preliminary results confirm Constitution: "The Center for Free Elections and Democracy preliminary results on a sample of 600 polling stations show that voter turnout at the referendum was 53.5% and their experts do not expect a deviation of more than 1% in the final count.

According to this data, 3,552,721 voters cast a vote at the referendum and 3,427,905 circled yes on their voting slip. This was 108,000 more affirmative votes than was necessary for the Constitution proposal to pass.

CESID records also show that more that 4% of the electorate voted every hour between 17.00 and 19.00. The lowest turnout was in Vojvodina (43.6%), follwed by Belgrade (50.6%), Central Serbia (52.1%), while in Kosovo 81.6% voted at the referendum.

The Centre for Free Elections and Democracy (CESID) said that, within their sample of observed polling stations, there had been several serious irregularities observes. Some citizens were allowed to vote without their ID, and several families were allowed to vote together behind the voting screen. "


estavisti said...

Patriotic movies? Like which ones?

Also, why didn't you mention that the drat has been endorsed by Jewish and Catholic leaders (Archbishop Hočevar), as well as by Sulejman Ugljanin and József Kasza, considered to be relatiely hardline Bosniak and Hungarian leaders? Doesn't really fit into the "Serbian nationalism" narrative, does it?

The Kosovo Albanians didn't get to vote because they've been boycotting Serbian politics since 1990, even though as 20% of the population, they could wield substantial political clout in parliament in Belgrade. You can't have it both ways, you know.

bytycci said...

Well, I was talking about the Boj na Kosovo movie.

The draft may have been endorsed by these minority leaders, but they didn't campaign for it. (This is what I was talking about).

C'mon man, please don't give me this reason about not allowing the Kosovo Albanians to vote. I hope you don't justify the non-inclusion of Albanians in the list.