The opposition councillors to the Belgrade City Assembly boycotted Monday’s sitting on a budget rebalance keeping a promise they gave to the #1 in 5 million protest participants not to take part in the work of the republic’s and local parliaments, the agencies reported.
They said they would talk to the people instead and displayed the #1 in 5 million banner outside the assembly building.
The President of the Assembly, Nikola Nikodijevic, from the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), the primary coalition partner of President Aleksandar Vucic’s Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), called on the opposition to come back, but they refused and he postponed the session until March 4.
However, Nikodijevic told reporters the meeting was adjourend due to a technical error since the material about the budget rebalance wasn’t ready on time.
Nikola Jovanovic, a deputy leader of the Popular Party, a member of the Alliance for Serbia (SzS) opposition grouping, said it was more important to be with the people in the street “than in the hall with those who see Belgrade only as a pray and hate it.”
A councillor from the Free Citizens Movement Pavle Grbovic said the SNS representatives would have to take part “at this shameful session” alone, adding the opposition would boycott all sittings in the future.
The SNS councillors’ club chief Aleksandar Mirkovic also called on “a part of the opposition who conduct their policy in the street instead of in the assembly, to come back next Monday. They have seven days to think about it and see that by boycotting the sessions they not only violate the rules but also underrate all Belgrade’s citizens.”
Serbia’s opposition did not take an active role in the anti-government protests across Serbia but drafted the Agreement with the People which included the protesters’ demands like the boycott of all state and municipal institutions.
The protests in Belgrade have been held for 12 Saturdays in a row, while in some other 60 cities and towns for several weeks now.
The main demands include Vucic’s ouster, resignations of several ministers, fair election rules, free media and some local issues.