Announcement on Referendum on Constitutional Changes

Analyzing the events related to the implementation of the referendum as well as the results of  Movement 2035 points out the omissions and offers proposals for the next steps in building a democratic and free society.

It is a sad and unpleasant fact that the results of the referendum were first announced by the President of the Republic of Serbia, in his capacity as the president of the party, instead of by a representative of the Republican Election Commission. Considering the situation related to the pandemic, the failures identified by domestic observers are unacceptable for a society that wants to consider itself democratic. That is why it is necessary to professionalize and create a permanent and independent institution, free from party influence, which would professionally, independently and freely organize the constitutional changes both in the referendum and in the elections. The expected low turnout is a consequence of various manipulative campaigns against constitutional changes, which led a large number of citizens into the delusion that the changes concern many other things besides the judiciary, and the government, which was unable to explain to the citizens the importance of their participation in deciding the position of the judiciary, triesd to portray the low turnout and the high percentage of „no“ answers as democracy, which gives citizens the freedom not to exercise their right.

In its pre-referendum statement, the 2035 Movement clarified its reasons for supporting changes to the Constitution and notes with regret the insufficient support and interest of citizens in improving the judiciary. It is particularly significant that the Government of the Republic of Serbia did implemented referendum in Kosovo and Metohija with timely diplomatic activities, as well as the development and preparation of a model that would enable our fellow citizens of Kosovo and Metohija to express their opinion on constitutional changes.

This failure of the government is especially worrying before the elections that will be held in April. Despite the stated shortcomings and omissions, we believe that the result of the referendum is still a good basis that provides more opportunities for citizens to continue to put pressure on the state to reform the system, for judges and prosecutors to become independent, and for citizens to exercise their rights in accordance with our guiding principle that we are all equal before the law.

The 2035 movement will continue its work to ensure that the accompanying laws that follow the adopted constitutional amendments are in line with the idea of constitutional changes, which is the independence of the third branch of government.