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J. Joksimović: Fundamental democratic rights are not undermined

May 03 2020 | Belgrade

J. Joksimović: Fundamental democratic rights are not undermined

Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has stated today that the state of emergency was introduced in accordance with the Constitution, emphasising that the Serbian parliament was dissolved on 4 March following the call of elections under regular circumstances, and not so that it would not be able to convene and adopt the decision on declaring the state of emergency.

Joksimović has stated the aforementioned for TV B92, answering the question of whether the fact that the parliament did not convene could be one of MEPs arguments to claim that democratic rights are not respected in Serbia.

“The parliament was dissolved on 4 March in regular circumstances following the call of elections. We did not suddenly say ‘The parliament is not working because it is the state of emergency and you will not convene to adopt the decision on declaring the state of emergency’. It was rather a specific circumstance, where the parliament was dissolved for electoral activities at a time of the pandemic,” stated Joksimović.

She has recalled that on 11 March the World Health Organisation declared a pandemic, and that on 12 March many European countries declared the state of emergency.\

According to Joksimović, the state of emergency was declared in 15 EU countries, while the 12 EU countries that did not declare it introduced rigorous measures of restricted movement.

“No one abolished the responsibilities of the parliament, but in this specific set of political and pandemic-related circumstances, we came into the situation to use the other constitutional instrument at our disposal,” stated Joksimović.

She has added that, as soon as conditions allowed, the parliament reconvened following special safety and health measures.

“The parliament confirmed the decision on declaring the state of emergency and adopted a law on all regulations the Government had adopted in the previous period. You can always split hairs, but this is an option that exists according to the Constitution. The circumstances were exceptional, and I think that this was done with best intentions and that we did not undermine any fundamental democratic rights,” stated Joksimović.

She also believes that restrictions introduced during the state of emergency led to more favourable trends, and that Serbia is now in a more favourable situation regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Tanjug