Impeachment Motion Against Serbian President Submitted to Parliament


A motion to impeach Serbian President Boris Tadic has been submitted to parliament and could be put to debate within days. Analysts say the move, initiated by Serbia's Radicals and Socialists, has little chance to succeed.

The motion to impeach Serbian President Boris Tadic has reached parliament, but observers say it is unlikely to succeed. [AFP] Serbia's Socialists and Radicals submitted to parliament Monday (18 October) a motion to impeach President Boris Tadic, which could be put to debate within days.

Tadic angered former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's Socialist Party and the ultra nationalist Serbian Radical Party (SRS) by urging Kosovo Serbs to take part in the province's parliamentary elections on 23 October. The two parties accused him of acting against Serbia's national interests.

The motion, signed by the two parties' 104 lawmakers in Serbia's 250-seat assembly, claimed the president overstepped his legal powers.

As the representative of all Serbs, Tadic had neither the right to "exert influence on individuals" about whether they should exercise their right to vote, nor could he "publicly proclaim his private stands as those of the state," the AP quoted the motion as reading.

SRS leader Tomislav Nikolic said Monday his party's first goal was to oust Tadic and then to initiate steps to bring down the government led by Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica.

According to observers, however, the Radicals and Socialists have little chance to succeed in their attempt to oust Tadic. The motion requires the support of two-thirds of all lawmakers; in that case, a nationwide referendum would be called. At least half of all registered voters, or about 3.25 million, would have to say "yes" for Tadic to be unseated.

In a televised statement on 5 October, the president urged Kosovo Serbs to vote in Saturday's election, so that their voices could be heard in the province.

His appeal was criticised by Kostunica, who has been calling on Kosovo Serbs to boycott the vote, citing security problems.

Nonetheless, the parties in the governing coalition all have said they would not support the motion filed by the Radicals and Socialists, Belgrade-based Radio B92 reported Monday.

Shrugging off the threat of impeachment, Tadic has said that if government parties backed the motion, the likely result would be early elections -- which, he added, would benefit his Democratic Party (DS).

"We have nothing against elections; we are absolutely ready," the Serbian president said recently. "We can go into new elections tomorrow. We would win and get more seats than all the government parties together. At the same time, we would have more seats than the allegedly always victorious Serbian Radical Party, which in truth cannot win anywhere alone."

Recent surveys have shown the SRS and DS are the two strongest forces in Serbia now. Some analysts believe that following the June presidential poll in the republic and the recent local elections, Serbia is heading towards a two-party system.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Mirolub Labus has called on Tadic and Nikolic to take steps to bring down the Kostunica cabinet if they are seeking early parliamentary elections.

But Kostunica's Democratic Party of Serbia says that given all problems the country is facing, it does not believe there will be extraordinary elections before the end of the year.

In related news, Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic expressed support Monday for Tadic's stance on the Kosovo vote. Djukanovic said he joined Tadic's appeal because "the logic of obstruction of elections and self-isolation was not good and would not bring any benefits to the non-Albanian community in Kosovo."