Thursday, October 12, 2006

Kosovo president defends plan for setting up ethnic Serb municipality

Text of report in English by independent internet news agency KosovaLive

Gjilan [Gnjilane], 12 October: Kosova [Kosovo] President Fatmir Sejdiu during his visit to Viti [Vitina] received many critiques from citizens and municipal councillors, and he was warned that citizens of Viti are strongly against the establishment of the municipality of Kllokot [Klokot].

Citizens and municipal councillors openly expressed their dissatisfaction towards the ethnically-based decentralization, handing over to President Sejdiu 11,000 signatures of Viti residents against the establishment of the Serb municipality of Kllokot.

President Sejdiu said that decentralization is related to the structure of the future local self-administration, where the counsellors of local level will have the opportunity to take decisions on issues that were usually decided by the central level.

"The establishment of new municipalities is an aspect of Kosova's territorial reorganization, but which does not harm its integration," said President Sejdiu, adding that decisions of the Kosova delegation have been reached by consensus.

The head of the PDK [Democratic Party of Kosovo] Group of Councillors in the Viti Municipal Assembly, Daut Xhemajli, said that Viti has been punished with separation on ethnic bases without any previous consultation. "If the Negotiating Team does not withdraw the proposal for municipality of Kllokot, we have no reasons to stay in this hall," said Xhemajli.

Responding to these statements, President Sejdiu said that there is a unique stance within the Unity Team on this issue.

"It is important to move together and to maintain the unity inside the negotiating group," said President Sejdiu.

Source: KosovaLive website, Pristina, in English 12 Oct 06

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