PM Dačić addresses rally in K. MitrovicaSource: B92, Tanjug
KOSOVSKA MITROVICA -- PM Ivica Dačić has called on the citizens of Kosovska Mitrovica to show unity and turn out to vote in the local elections that will be repeated on Sunday.
Addressing the gathering at the closing rally of the Citizens' Initiative Srpska campaign in the center of Kosovska Mitrovica on Friday, Dačić said that Serbia cannot defend itself with guns and tanks, but only through strong political connections and wise decisions.
“You have to understand, and you need to help us in order to help yourselves, so that we can continue helping you back. That is why you need to go to the polls,” Dačić told the gathering of about 5,000 people.
"The turnout does not serve to assist Priština and Kosovo Prime Minister Hahsim Thaci," Dačić said. Rather, it is the only way the Serbs in Kosovo can have the power that is not recognized only by Belgrade, but also by Priština and “which is the most important, by the international community as well, as without their recognition we can do nothing.”
“Make your choice in such a way that it is in Serbia’s interests. It is vital for the Serbs to show unity, to forget the differences between the political parties,” Dačić said.
This is about defending the interests of Serbia, and not on how to betray these interests, Dačić said, adding that it is necessary to win the elections and then constitute the Community of Serb municipalities, which means Serb authorities, police and judiciary.
“From 1999 onwards, Serbia has been present in Kosovo, but (working) from Belgrade. We need a Serb center of power right here in the (Kosovo) north, in Kosovska Mitrovica,” he said.
We have but one goal, Dačić stressed, "and that is to win more votes than the Albanian and Bosniak candidates for Kosovska Mitrovica mayor."
The vote at three polling places in north Kosovska Mitrovica will be repeated on Sunday, November 17, as incidents taking place in the first round of elections on November 3 caused early closing of the stations and annulment of the results.
After the rally, Dačić took a walk down the central street and then spent half an hour in a cafe, before leaving the town with police escort.
Reports said that he was welcomed with applause by several thousand people at the square where the rally was held. Beside the locals, people were also bused in from other parts of Kosovo in order to take part in the gathering.
"Voting protects jobs"Energy Minister Zorana Mihajlović called on citizens of Kosovska Mitrovica to cast their ballot in the re-run of local elections on Sunday, saying it is the only way to protect jobs.
Addressing the present at the closing rally of the Serbian government-backed Citizens' Initiative Srpska in Kosovska Mitrovica, Mihajlović said that a community of Serb municipalities will be formed after the elections as that is the right way for forging closer ties and protecting jobs.
"We do not need a boycott. Those who call for the boycott are against hope. Ballots must be cast as that is the only way in which we can preserve jobs," Mihajlović said.
Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dačić and Minister without Portfolio responsible for Kosovo Aleksandar Vulin will also take part in the rally.
Voting will be repeated at three polling stations in northern Kosovska Mitrovica on Sunday, November 17, where the results were annulled due to the incidents that took place during the first round on November 3.