Sunday, November 3, 2013

Kosovska Mitrovica mayoral candidate attacked

11/2/2013 4:43:00 PM
 KOSOVSKA  MITROVICA - Two masked persons assaulted Krstimir Pantic, Kosovska Mitrovica mayoral candidate of the Citizens' Initiative Srpska, in Kosovska Mitrovica, north Kosovo-Metohija, on Friday evening. Pantic told Tanjug that the incident took place in front of his building when two masked persons attacked him. "After a few blows, the attackers ran away. 

I do not know exactly, but I think that these were young persons of up to 20 years of age," Pantic said. Pantic received medical assistance at the Mitrovica hospital and after an injury to his chin was dealt with, he was discharged from hospital. Krstimir Pantic is one of five Kosovska Mitrovica mayoral candidates at the local elections scheduled for November 3. Serbian Parliament Speaker Nebojsa Stefanovic stated on Saturday that Friday evening's attack on Krstimir Pantic, Kosovska Mitrovica mayoral candidate of the Citizens' Initiative Srpska, is an attack on the state of Serbia, and therefore he expects that the government will react sharply and seriously so that such incidents would not happen again. Stefanovic said at a press conference in the Serbian parliament that the assault against Pantic is an assault against the state of Serbia, adding that the ones, who are behind the attack, are working in the interest of Kosovo Prime Minister Hasim Taci and against the interest of Serbia.

 "This is the reason why all Serbs should go to the polls and fight for their future and the future of their children," the parliament speaker said, stressing that the only way for Serbs to stay in Kosovo is to secure themselves a better life and formation of a community of Serb municipalities. Stefanovic called on Serbs in Kosovo-Metohija not to allow the campaign of intimidation to impede them from taking part in the local elections on Sunday.

 By voting in Sunday's elections, Serbs will defend their survival in Kosovo-Metohija, Stefanovic underlined. Pantic: Attackers attempted at my life BELGRADE - Krstimir Pantic, Kosovska Mitrovica mayoral candidate of the Citizens' Initiative Srpska, said in Belgrade on Saturday that Friday's assault against him was an attempt at his life, adding that he wants to believe that this will be the last politically motivated attack on Serbs in Kosovska Mitrovica, north Kosovo-Metohija. Pantic said at a press conference in the Serbian parliament that the attack was inspired by the parties which for two months have been advocating the boycott of the local elections scheduled for November 3. He called on Serbs to show commitment to the state of Serbia and the Serbian government regardless of the threats, and secure creation of a community of Serb municipalities as a guarantee of the survival of Serbs in this area and strong connections with Serbia. Vulin:State of Serbia present in Kosovo after elections 

 The assault against Krstimir Pantic, Kosovska Mitrovica mayoral candidate of the Citizens' Initiative Srpska, is an assault against the state of Serbia, Aleksandar Vulin, Serbian minister without portfolio in charge of Kosovo Metohija, said on Saturday, adding that the state of Serbia will be present in Kosovo after the local elections scheduled for November 3. "The attack on Pantic is the culmination of the policy of violence and political hatred directed against all who want to support the state of Serbia and the government," Vulin said said at a press conference in the Serbian parliament. "The ones who think that in the way, by means of violence, they will drive away Serbia from Kosovo-Metohija, will not succeed in that," the minister said and called on all Serbs in the province to go to the polls at Sunday's local elections and not to allow the atmosphere of violence to prevail. Vulin urged the international community to make sure that Sunday's elections pass without any incidents and to guarantee safety to all who should vote in the elections, adding that the government is in constant communication with officials of the international community warning them that such incident may happen. Office for Kosovo-Metohija condemns attack on Pantic 

 Тhe Serbian government's Office for Kosovo-Metohija stated that it is horrified by the news about Friday evening's attack on Krstimir Pantic, Kosovska Mitrovica mayoral candidate of the Citizens' Initiative Srpska, is an attack on the state of Serbia. "We condemn in the harshest terms the assault against Mr. Krstimir Pantic and we urge EULEX and OSCE to do all to find the perpetrators as soon as possible since it is completely clear that the interim authorities in Pristina will not do that, just as they have not shed light on any crime against Serbs in the province up to date," the statement said. Moreover, the Office for Kosovo-Metohija said that Serbs in Kosovo-Metohija must not be wavered by terror and violence, but that rather "this should make us even more determined to go to the polls in Sunday's local elections and chose our best representatives". 

 "This will be the only guarantee of Serbs' stay and survival in Kosovo-Metohija," the statement said. Pantic, who is a deputy head of the Office for Kosovo-Metohija, suffered minor injuries after he was assaulted on Friday evening by two masked persons. The attack took place in north Kosovska Mitrovica in front of the building where Pantic lives. OSCE condemns assault on candidate in local elections The Head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, Ambassador Jean-Claude Schlumberger, has condemned Friday night's assault on one of the candidates for North Mitrovica mayor, Krstimir Pantic.

 “I have repeatedly reacted against the use of force and attempts to undermine the right of eligible voters in northern Kosovo to freely exercise their right to vote. Last night’s assault on Mr Pantic is the last in a series of such attempts and I strongly condemn it,” said Schlumberger. “I call on law enforcement agencies to investigate this attack and prosecute the perpetrators. I remain confident that the security providers in Kosovo will take all necessary measures to ensure a safe and secure environment for tomorrow’s elections,” he said. 
 The OSCE is facilitating elections in line with the 19 April EU-brokered Belgrade-Pristina agreement. Photo Tanjug, N. Milosevic

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