Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

The Oaths of the Future Serbian MPs and the Upcoming President of Serbia

Dessislava Dimitrova, May 5, 2012

On May 6 the Serbs will vote for president, for parliament and for local authorities, while the citizens of the Vojvodina autonomous province will vote for a regional parliament. There are 12 presidential candidates, while the representatives of a total of 18 lists, including 40 parties and coalitions and some 30 citizens’ groups will fight for 250 seats in Parliament. President will become the candidate who wins the majority of the vote, and if none of the candidates manages for a majority no later than 15 days from the date of the elections, a second round must be called. The candidate who wins a majority is proclaimed a winner, and if both candidates get equal number of ballots, a third round can be called. The new president will officially step into office the day he swears before Parliament.

The first sitting of the new parliament, in which for a first time one third of the deputies are expected to be women, must take place no later than 30 days after the final election results are announced. According to the law, the local election commission must announce the final results by 8 pm local time on May 10, which means that the first session of Parliament should take place no later than June 8. Within three months the members of Parliament should vote for a new government. If they fail to do so, under the Constitution, new elections must be called within 60 days. The president then offers a candidate for prime minister, while he, in his turn, proposes the members and the programme of the cabinet.

Also for a first time this year the members of Parliament will swear that they will stick to their obligations “fairly, honestly, conscientiously, according to the Constitution and that they defend human rights and freedom and the rights of minorities and that they will serve in the best possible way the Serb citizens as well to the truth and justice.”

The president’s oath says: “I swear to dedicate all my efforts to keep the sovereignty and the integrity of the territory of the Republic of Serbia, including Kosovo and Metohija as part of it, as well as the implementation of human rights and freedom and the rights of the minorities, to respect and protect the laws and the Constitution, to guarantee the peace and welfare of all citizens, and to carry out my duty conscientiously and responsibly.”