Page 967 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 967

 Christ and the Prophets, soffit of the arch between intermediate and west bays of the nave, painted at the time of Patriarch joanikije, ca. 1350, Church of the Holy apostles, the Patriarchate of Peć
The electoral Process
in most emerging as in solidified democracies, participa- tion in the electoral process institutionalizes the freedom of choice. While the Church has always advocated partici- pation in free elections and voting according to the informed choice of one’s conscience, in today’s Kosovo voting can- not be taken into consideration as long as 250,000 Kosovo Serbs and other expelled non-albanians live outside of Ko- sovo and Metohija without logistic means for voter regis- try, while those within the administrative boundaries of theProvinceremainghettoizedinethnicenclaveswithout freedom of movement as an essential precondition for vot- er registry and the polls. and, as the albanian border re- mains porous, there is no effective means by which to as- sure that incoming albanians, claiming the loss of legal paperwork, are indeed legitimate citizens within Kosovo.
For these reasons and given the explicit failure of the albanian-dominated provisional government, Bishop ar- temije feels that it would tantamount to “national suicide”4 for the Serbs to remain in these political institutions and to participate equitably in the forthcoming elections. This view is supported by Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica, who announced that Belgrade is opposed to the participa- tion of Serb voters in the October 23rd 2004 Kosovo parlia- mentary elections, due to the refusal of the UN mission and the government in Priština to take into consideration its plan for the protection of the endangered Serb commu- nity.5 “Without achieving institutional guarantees for the survival and return of Serbs, participation of the Serb com- munity in the forthcoming (elections) is not possible.”6
4 ”For Serbs to stay on in Kosovo institutions would be national suicide” (Danas Daily: jelena Tasić, Belgrade, 27 july 2004), eRP KiM Newsletter 28-07-04:
5 “Belgrade against Serb participation in Kosovo elections,” (iSN Security Watch: aleksandar Mitić), eRP KiM Newsletter 02-08-04:
6 “Koštunica and Kosovo Serbs: No conditions for participation in elections,” eRP KiM Newsletter, 29-07-04:
additionally, Kosovo Member of Parliament Rada Traj- ković has assessed the plan of UNMiK and the Kosovo gov- ernment on resolving issues in the Province, indicating: “That plan is irrelevant, taking into account the fact that many international factors and organizations have marked precisely UNMiK and the provincial government as re- sponsible for the March violence.” according to her, “all this creates good space for the Serbian government plan to be part of a united strategy and as one of the conditions for theparticipationofSerbsintheprovincialelections.”7
Determination and Resolution
Void of the conditions necessary to insure democratic elec- toral results, coupled with poor economic conditions, which result from internal corruption, political radicalism is en- couraged, providing impetus for localism as a phenome- non, with its attempts toward resolution through inverted, reduced communities, void of a wider regional context, which begs the issue of final status. in accordance with UN Security Resolution 1244, the sovereignty of Serbia and Montenegro over Kosovo and Metohija is formally guar- anteed. The Diocese of Raška-Prizren also calls for the sub- stantial autonomy of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia. This would implement a responsible strategy for protect- ing the rights of all other citizens of Serbia, whose rights are endangered in Kosovo and Metohija.8 Here, it is essen- tial to note by definition Serbs are not a “minority” in Ko- sovo and Metohija, which remains an integral part of Ser- bia, and therefore cannot be perceived of as an “ethnic” group within their own nation.
7 “Rada Trajković on talks with Koštunica,” (Tanjug), eRP KiM Newsletter, 29-07-04:
8 “DioceseofRaškaandPrizrenexpressesitsconcern,”(ePRKiM info-service: 21 july 2004), eRP KiM Newsletter 21-07-04: www.

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