Invitation to ethnic Albanians and Roma to vote in elections

Presidents of the national councils of ethnic Albanians and Roma, Galip Beciri and Vitomir Mihajlovic, invited the members of their ethnic groups to register on the special electoral rolls and vote in the elections for members of the national minority councils in Serbia set for October 26.

(kosovocompromisestuff) Wednesday, August 20, 2014

National minority members should register on their special electoral roll by midnight on August 23, which will then be temporarily closed to determine which minorities will vote directly and which electronically.In order for a minority to get direct elections, 40 percent of those who declared themselves as members of that minority in the 2011 census need to be registered on the list, and that number should not be less than 300.Beciri invited all parties to run in the election, as the only way to legally elect members of the national council and ensure all the rights the Albanian national minority in Serbia should enjoy according to the law and international standards.Around 27,300 ethnic Albanians were registered to vote in the previous election, in 2010, he noted, stressing that there was no information on how many voters had registered since, but that he believed the number was sufficient to warrant a direct vote.Mihajlovic believes the Roma will always elect members for their council directly.Some 3,000 signatures are needed for the Roma to get a direct election, he pointed out."I expect more than 4,000 Roma to registered on the special electoral roll by Friday and that we will meet the requirements needed to hold a direct election," he remarked.The Roma voted for their council members in 2003 using the electoral assembly method, while the election in 2010 was direct, he said, adding that his people were in a unique situation compared to other minorities, because they were scattered throughout Serbia.After the elections for the national minority councils are called on August 25, the special electoral rolls will again be open for registration until October 10.After that deadline, citizens will only be able to register with a special permission from the ministry.State Secretary for Administration and Local Government Ivan Bosnjak said on Monday the goal was to elect as many councils as possible directly at the vote scheduled for October 26.Serbia recognises 22 national minorities, and the elections will be held for 19 of them and the Jewish community.The Russian and Turkish minorities have not filed a request to form a special electoral roll, so they will not be holding a vote.