Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Kosovo Serb leader says murder threats used to stop people voting in election

The two Serb citizens' lists that ran in the Kosova [Kosovo] general election have different positions regarding participation in the Kosova institutions. In this way, the representatives of the Serbian List for Kosovo and Metohija [SLKM] have said that they would not take the reserved seats in the Kosova Assembly. One of the candidates of this list, Dragisa Krstovic, said that he had decided not to join the parliament. He added that the representatives of the SLKM were going to have a meeting with Serbian President Boris Tadic to discuss further actions.

Meanwhile, the second Serb party that ran in the general election, the Civic Initiative of Serbia, according to its chairman Slavisa Petkovic, will take the reserved seats in the Kosova Assembly. He does not see the refusal of the Serb population to vote in the general election as a genuine position of this population, but as a result of pressure that was exercised by certain groups of fellow Serbs to prevent people from voting.

"They have used the most brutal methods, which only Hitler used to get to power. This means that people have been threatened even with murder if they dared to go out and vote. They have been threatened with losing their jobs, too. Therefore, the Serbs were frightened and did not dare go out and vote," Petkovic said.

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