21 April 2011 Participants of the public hearing

21 April 2011 Participants of the public hearing

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Public Hearing on Draft Version of Bill Amending and Modifying the Law on Election of Deputies

The Justice and Administration Committee organised a public hearing on the Draft Version of the Bill amending and modifying the Law on Election of Deputies in the Small Hall of the National Assembly House on 21 April.



The Justice and Administration Committee organised a public hearing on the Draft Version of the Bill amending and modifying the Law on Election of Deputies in the Small Hall of the National Assembly House on 21 April.

Opening the gathering, Justice and Administration Committee Chairman Bosko Ristic said that the public hearing was organised so as to involve the general public, so as to come up with the best solutions, considering the importance of the proposed amendments to the Law.

Nada Kolundzija presented the basic solutions on the behalf of the Task Group which had prepared the draft version of the Bill. She stressed that the amendments to the Law on Election of Deputies propose to resolve the issue of blank resignations and assignation of deputies’ terms of office, as well as resolve the objections pointed out by the European Union. The proposed solutions abolish the practice of blank resignations and propose that terms of office be assigned according to the order of candidates on the electoral lists, said Kolundzija adding that both the ruling coalition and the opposition agreed not to amend the electoral system in the pre-election year.

The debate gave voice to different opinions on the proposed solutions, but the participants agreed that the public hearing proved useful for exchanging opinions and hearing proposals and suggestions how to improve the solutions offered. The participants opined that the solutions were good and that blank resignations should be abolished until the conditions were met to amend the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia i.e. article 102 stipulating that a deputy is free to irrevocably put his/her term of office at disposal to the political party upon which proposal he or she has been elected. In addition to the endorsement of the abolition of blank resignations, they pointed out the need not to close the electoral lists but instead allow for the possibility of awarding 20% of the terms of office to the candidates in accordance with their electoral success. They also opined that the proposed solutions pertaining to blank resignations narrow down and abolish the constitutional right and amend the provisions of the Constitution according to which a deputy is free to put his/her term of office at the disposal of the party. A number of participants stressed that the new solutions should require that one of three candidates on the electoral lists should be a woman, not one in four as was proposed. Some proposed an immediate and comprehensive amendment of the electoral legislation as the existing system was bad and untenable. It was also announced that amendments would be submitted to the Bill to specify the assignment of terms of office to the deputies from coalition lists i.e. a solution stipulating that a deputy whose term of office ceases should be replaced by the first one on the list from the same party.

The public hearing was attended by numerous deputies, parliamentary group heads, representatives of the Republic Electoral Commission, Equality Commissioner, Anti-Corruption Agency Director, representatives of international and non-governmental institutions, as well as professors of the Belgrade Faculty of Law and Faculty of Political Sciences.


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