Citizens of Bujanovac spoke with Zoran Pasalic today, the Protector of Citizens, as part of the “Ombudsman Days” campaign, and they mostly complained about labor disputes and the fulfillment of their rights in the field of pension insurance, as well as about problems with public utility services, while representatives of the local self-government emphasized the problems of lack of respect for human rights and the slow work of the judiciary.
The Republican Ombudsman urged all citizens who have trouble registering in electoral rolls to personally contact the institution of the Protector of Citizens. Registration in electoral rolls is a right of all citizens, said Zoran Pasalic.
At a meeting with representatives of the local self-government, he emphasized that cooperation between the institution of the Protector of Citizens and local authorities in Bujanovac is very good, but that there is always room for improvement, noting that the Protector of Citizens is there to improve communication and cooperation between the republic and local authorities. He said that through the local offices of the Protector of Citizens in Bujanovac, Presevo and Medvedja, so far, several problems have already been addressed, such as the official use of languages in state institutions or problems with textbooks.
Mayor of the municipality of Bujanovac, Shaip Kamberi, said that one of the biggest problems that citizens face in that local self-government is the lack of respect for human rights, which includes the removal of citizens from single electoral rolls, which is also related to their removal from the resident register. Kamberi also added that the local self-government received complaints about the slow work of the courts, citing as an example that the municipality of Bujanovac this year paid 8.5 million dinars from the budget for a process initiated in 1986.
He also assessed that the local self-government has good and regular communication with the Protector of Citizens of the Republic of Serbia and that he expects that the cooperation will continue and contribute to solving all problems.
The Protector of Citizens, Zoran Pasalic, said that most of the citizens of these municipalities have so far complained about similar things as citizens in all other cities and municipalities in Serbia, and that these complaints relate primarily to the work of the state administration, largely to the fulfillment of the right to an old-age pension or to the slow work of the courts.
Citizens may approach the Republic Ombudsman regarding issues with the fulfillment of any of the rights that are guaranteed to them by the law, he reminded.
According to the records of the local office of the Republic Ombudsman in Bujanovac, in the ten years of its existence, there were only 200 complaints, while since the beginning of the year, 221 citizens have addressed that office, with a total of five complaints. As it was pointed out, this is a lower average of citizens' complaints than in other municipalities and cities with similar population, which is why the Ombudsman once again urged citizens to contact him in case of disrespect of their rights.
From the beginning of the year, there were 551 citizens' complaints in the offices of the Republic Ombudsman in Bujanovac, Presevo and Medvedja, of which 182 in Presevo, 221 in Bujanovac and 42 in Medvedja.
Zoran Pasalic also met with representatives of non-governmental organizations in Bujanovac today, representatives of public enterprises, as well as with the President of the National Council of the Albanian National Minority, Ragmi Mustafa.
The Republic Ombudsman is visiting 13 local self-governments within the “Days of the Ombudsman” campaign. The visits are implemented within the project of increasing the accessibility of the Protector of Citizens to citizens living in the interior of Serbia. The project is implemented by the Protector of Citizens of the Republic of Serbia with the financial support of the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Serbia.