Judging by the atmosphere from the first parliamentary session of the new convocation, expectations that the Parliament will perform within its authorities in the forthcoming period are low. Degradation of the division of power was demonstrated.
On August 1, four months after the elections, the National Assembly was constituted. The first special session of the new convocation took place on September 13 and 14, on the occasion of the government’s report on the negotiations with Kosovo. This special session had a record duration – almost 24 hours in the span of two days. The Report was presented by President Vučić, who also answered questions posed by the MPs. The attendance of several government officials - the director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija and the director of the Office for Coordination Affairs in the negotiation process - was not accompanied by the Prime Minister, Ana Brnabić. President Vučić, who is also the president of the most represented political party in the Parliament, was the only representative of the executive who addressed the Parliament on both days.
The session started with an address of the President Vučić and a hitherto unusual broadcast from the Parliament on the first channel of the public broadcaster, given that the less watched second channel, RTS2, is reserved for parliamentary sessions. Still, after the President delivered his speech and MPs took the floor, the broadcast was immediately transferred from RTS1 to RTS2.
The special session was marked by vigorous debates. Poignant were the presentations of the opposition MPs who drew attention to the previous failures of negotiations with Kosovo, especially the inaccessibility of information about the process and the absence of a state strategy for solving the Kosovo issue. Throughout the session, the Speaker of Parliament, also from the ranks of the ruling majority, constantly ignored violations of the Rules of Procedure reported by the opposition MPs and refused to allow them to reply. The session was a demonstration of the lack of the division of power and marginalized role of the Parliament. President Vučić exercised his dominance by responding to opposition MPs who insisted to complain about the violation of parliamentary procedure that "he is the President of Serbia and they are just ordinary MPs". President further promised a more significant involvement of the Assembly in the further course of negotiations with Kosovo. He also declared that he would not sign any final document before organizing a referendum on the issue, so that citizens could voice their opinion.
The vote on the Kosovo negotiations report took place at midnight on the second day of the session. Out of 250 MPs, 207 took the vote. The report was adopted with 148 votes in favor, all of which came from the ranks of the ruling majority. No opposition MP voted in favor, and many of them were absent from the session.
Voting results on the Report on the negotiation process with the temporary institutions of self-government in Pristina from June 15, 2021 to September 1, 2022
To remind, this document is not the only one on the subject of negotiations with Kosovo – in the last two decades more than a dozen resolutions, declarations and reports were adopted.
The next session of the National Assembly, in plenum, is expected the first week of October when the regular autumn sessions are to begin. The appointment of a new government should be on the agenda.