Municipalities Must be Clearly Separated form Religious Communities

Sanctification of Municipality building in Budva can violate the constitutional principle of separation between religious communities and state, and put in an unequal position users of public services and employees in administrative bodies.

Local self-government, regardless of the political parties that win the majority in local elections, should serve all citizens, regardless of their personal characteristics and beliefs.

We remind that the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination recognises as discrimination not only unequal treatment, but also giving priority to a certain group. Also, in addition to the de facto unequal position, this Law recognises the possibility of a certain practice, even seemingly neutral, brings certain persons and groups in unequal position.

Yesterday’s act put the personal beliefs of one political group in the foreground, at the moment of the election of President of the Municipality. We remind that this function, although conditioned by election results, is professional according to the Law on Local Self Government.

By election on this, very important, position, President of Municipality is especially obliged to enable consistent observance of the law and the Constitution, and to send a message to citizens that they are equal in exercising their rights in local authorities. This also applies to employees in local self-government, who cannot be placed in a privileged or unequal position, especially not because of political, national, racial, sexual or religious affiliation or on the basis of other personal characteristics.

We express the hope that these and similar practices will not be repeated and that a clear line will be drawn between one’s political actions and personal beliefs and the need to perform the most important functions in public administration in a lawful, professional and impartial manner.

IA Team

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