Democratic Party leader Zoran Lutovac said on Oct. 22 that he would not take part in a session of the Serbian parliament's Committee on Constitutional Affairs and Legislation, at which amendments to the Serbian Constitution in the judiciary are to be debated, with the participation of representatives of the non-parliamentary opposition.
Explaining his decision, Lutovac told BETA that an illegitimate parliament could not deal with amendments to the Constitution. "In this parliament there is no opposition. This is Aleksandar Vucic's personal parliament. The Constitution is the highest legal act, but also a social contract. Any dealing with the Constitution entails a broad debate and a broad consensus, whereas on this the citizens do not have even the most basic information. Only a narrow expert public and some politicians are informed about it," said the Democratic Party president.
He added that a constitution was a democratic creation, "but even undemocratic states like Serbia have it." "Serbia can barely be called a state. The most powerful man in Serbia acts as though the Constitution does not exist. He himself sets the margins of his activity. The government and the parliament are his services, the judiciary is under his strong influence," Lutovac stressed.
According to him, Serbia has institutional capture and all critical speech smothered, along with the highest poverty and inequality in Europe. "Organized crime feels at home in the state. The economy is devastated, as are education and healthcare, there is no media freedom or free elections. And the Constitution should limit and build authority and regulate the society," he said.
When asked why the representatives of non-parliamentary political parties were now being invited for the first time, Lutovac replied that the aim of the authorities was to create the illusion of a debate in the society and to implement the suggestions of the European Commission and the Venice Commission to involve the opposition in political life and in a debate on important political issues.