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Acting Serbian Pres declares state of emergency

Acting Serbian President declares state of emergency

Belgrade, March 12, 2003 - In line with the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, article 83, item 8, Acting Serbian President Natasa Micic has declared a state of emergency on the territory of the Republic of Serbia. The Serbian government made the state of emergency proposal following the assassination of Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic.

Briefing the press in the Serbian government building, Micic said:

"In view of the fact that the assassination of Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic has put into jeopardy the safety of the Republic of Serbia, the rights of citizens and the work of state institutions, I am declaring a state of emergency at the proposal of the Serbian government, in line with the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, article 83, item 8, with the aim of facilitating the capture of the assassins. The state of emergency on the territory of the Republic of Serbia is declared.

The assassination of Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic represents an attack on the country's constitutional system and is a major crime against its safety and stability. This criminal act is an attempt to stop the fight against organised crime, democratic reforms, integration into the international community and to undermine the stability of the country, but also the whole region.

I decided to accept the state of emergency proposal made by the Serbian government so that the safety of people and property can be maintained, and so that state organs can confront organised crime with the harshest measures available. To that end, the state will use all methods a law-abiding state can use in a state of emergency to bring to justice the masterminds and perpetrators of this [crime], and all other recently committed crimes.

I urge all citizens and state institutions to remain calm in this difficult moment and fulfill their obligations as stipulated by the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia and the Law on state of emergency. I also urge all state institutions and legal entities to take all necessary measures as stipulated by the Law on state of emergency and be at the disposal of the security bodies in their efforts to capture Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic's assassins and bring them to justice.

I urge the Army of Serbia and Montenegro, the police, judiciary organs, the media and political parties to unite in achieving these objectives because the country's safety and stability are at stake. The state of emergency will be in force until we have achieved these goals, that is, until the murderers have been captured."

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