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Yugoslavia: Constitutional Court Reinstates Deputies

Belgrade, 26 July 2002 (RFE/RL) -- The Yugoslav Constitutional Court today ordered Serbia's parliament to reinstate 21 deputies who were expelled last month. The court declared the decision to expel the deputies unconstitutional. Constitutional Court Judge Momcilo Grubac said members of parliament do not have the power "to play with the right of people to be elected."

The leadership of the ruling Democratic Opposition of Serbia decided on 11 June to withdraw the mandates of 21 members of President Vojislav Kostunica's Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) due to their frequent absence from parliament. The decision led all 45 deputies in Kostunica's party to quit the parliament in protest, and the party later formally left the ruling coalition.

The deputy chairman of the DSS, Dragan Marsicanin, said the expelled deputies will return in a matter of days.