Two decisions on the same day


Citizens will also need to approve changes to the Constitution at the polls in 2017. The current options are to hold that referendum along with the presidential elections.

The citizens of Serbia might need to go to the polls twice next year – to elect a president and to approve changes to the Constitution necessary for the continuation of the negotiation process with the European Union. According to our sources, however, the option of holding both the presidential elections and the constitution referendum simultaneously isn’t off the table

Changes to the highest legal act over the course of the next year were also recently announced by the justice minister Nela Kubrovic but she wasn’t specific about any deadlines. Marija Obradovic, MP and vice-president of the SPS said for “Novosti” that there is still no decision on whether the constitution referendum will be organized at the same time as the presidential elections.

– We haven’t discussed it yet – says Obradovic.

Political analyst Dragoljub Andjelkovic believes that both options are still being considered.

– The referendum can be held along with the elections, but when making such a decision the economy of the process shouldn’t be a consideration since we are crucial matter is at stake. With a real campaign politicians could secure the necessary turnout and support for the changes to the highest legal act without merging it with the presidential elections. The important thing is that the changes to the Constitution be well planned-out and not alter the ordinances pertaining to K&M.


The deadline for the changes to the Constitution pertaining to the judiciary has been proscribed by the Draft of the Action Plan for Chapter 23 in the negotiations with the EU. With the passing of this draft Serbia’s National Assembly has taken on the responsibility to pass these changes by the end of 2017.

In the words of the Deputy PM Ivica Dacic changes to the preamble aren’t being discussed. The changes that need to be implemented by the end of next year concern only the judiciary.

– Chapter 23 proscribes changes to the regulations concerning the independence of the judiciary and the prosecution – explains Milan Antonijevic, the coordinator for chapters 23 and 24. – They deal with the composition of the High Judiciary Council and the State Prosecutors Council and the election process for the members of these bodies and are aimed at expel political influences from these proceedings. The most important change is that the Minister of justice will no longer be a member of these bodies.

He points out that, considering we have a “firm” Constitution which requires a two-thirds majority and a referendum in order to pass any changes to it, we should make all the necessary changes instead of only those which are currently prioritized. Those are, in Antonijevic’s opinion, primarily ordinances criticized by the Venetian Commission, especially in the field of human rights.


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