Prime Minister Milojko Spajić signed an agreement tonight on the conditions for holding the population census, which will be delivered to the opposition parties for signature - "Vijesti" has learned.
A source from the Government told "Vijesti" that they expect the agreement to be initialed in the morning, because the deadline for the selection of census instructors expires tomorrow, according to the renewed competition that was issued last week by the Directorate for Statistics (Monstat).
The agreement deals with the issues of expanding census commissions, controlling the entry of collected data, creating software for their verification, banning parties from conducting a census campaign...
In order to control the census, the government offered the opposition the development of software, expansion of census commissions, control of data entry, additional control through manual counting of data on nationality, religion and language, parliamentary supervision of the census, prohibition of parties to conduct census campaigns, selection of new enumerators and of their instructors... The document does not mention the date of the census (November 30 - December 15).
The strongest opposition party, the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), announced last week that Spajić accepted all the opposition's conditions, but that it is questionable whether they can be implemented by the start of the census. The acting head of that party, Danijel Živković, said at the time that they would not participate in the census "until the last condition and requirement" from the agreement proposal, which Spajić sent them, was fulfilled.
"It is impossible to conduct the census without these conditions. If the number of enumerators is not sufficient again, it will not be possible to organize the census," he said at the press conference, adding that Spajić's agreement proposal is acceptable to them. DPS had announced a boycott of the census.
The news has unofficially learned that they will sign the agreement.
On the other hand, the Presidency of the Social Democrats (SD) accepted Spajić's document, but the party emphasized that their further activities depend "exclusively on the Government's determination to fully implement every item of the agreement". SD confirmed to "Vijesta" that they will initial the document.
The Bosniak Party (BS) did not answer "Vijesti" at the time whether they would sign the document that Spajić offered them.
The Prime Minister, before the DPS and SD spoke, stated that he thought an agreement had been reached with the opposition on the census, although he had not received an official answer.
The census was supposed to be held from November 1 to 15, but the Spajić government immediately postponed it. The decision followed after a part of the opposition (led by DPS) and the national councils requested it, saying that there are currently no conditions for conducting the enumeration because, among other things, control of the process has not been ensured. Some of the parties also announced a boycott, obstructing the work of census commissions headed by their representatives. Spajić discussed the census with the opposition, the councils and the civil sector several times in the previous two weeks.
The Bosniak Council, the National Council of Albanians, the Croatian National Council, the Council of Muslims and the Roma Council last week suggested to Spajić that the start of the census could be postponed for a few days.