Minority groups in Serbia are preparing to boycott the country’s census due to disagreements over the ethnicity of data collectors and the language the census forms have been written in.
Ethnic Albanians in South Serbia and Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) from the southwestern region of Sandzak, are set to boycott the population count when it commences tomorrow until its scheduled completion date on 15 October.
Leaders of ethnic Albanians, which make up over 60,000 out of the seven-million-strong population in Serbia, have made a joint declaration calling for the boycott of the census.
“Two formal reasons for the boycott are the fact that questions are in Serbian and Cyrillic and the fact that there is no reciprocity among Serbian and Albanian data collectors,” Riza Halimi, the only ethnic Albanian leader in the Serbian parliament, told Balkan Insight.
With the latter point, Halimi was referring to the pact that only eight of the 22 data collectors expected to conduct the census in Bujanovac, a southern town, would be ethnic Albanians.
Meanwhile, the biggest Bosniak party in Serbia, the Bosniak Cultural Community, BNV, led by radical mufti Muamer Zukorlic, has called upon its supporters to also refrain from taking part in the census.