Kosovo local elections, 2013

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Republic of Kosovo Central Election Commission symbolics was used on local elections 2013

Local elections were held in Kosovo on 3 November 2013.[1] These were the first elections which the Serbs of Northern Kosovo participated in since the Republic of Kosovo declared independence in 2008; polls were monitored by the OSCE. There were violent reactions in Serb-majority areas of northern Kosovo.[2]

Results 1st round[edit]

The Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) won in Drenas, Kaçanik, Skënderaj and Shtime.[3]

The Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) candidates received the most votes in Fushë Kosovë, Istog and Podujevë.[3]

The Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) in coalition with Democratic League of Dardania (LDD) won in Deçan.[3]

The Turkish Democratic Party of Kosovo won in Mamusha.[3]

The independent candidate Rufki Suma (supported by Vetëvendosje!) won in Hani i Elezit.[4]

G.I.Srpska won in Leposavić, Zvečan, and Zubin Potok.[4]

The rest of communes went into the second round.

Incidents in Northern Kosovo[edit]

In August 2013, members of the "Interim Assembly of the Autonomous Province of Kosovo-Metohija" voted on a statement that said the election would violate Serbian law. This statement was rejected by the governments of Kosovo and of Serbia.[5] Since Kosovo declared independence in 2008, government in these Serb-majority municipalities in the north of Kosovo has been funded by Serbia, and they have been dominated by organised crime and paramilitaries.[6]

In the predominantly Serb area of Northern Kosovo, local Serb hardliners campaigned for a boycott of the elections. Voter intimidation was reported. Right before the election day, on Saturday night, a group of people attacked and severely injured the G.I.Srpska candidate for northern Mitrovica Krstimir Pantić in front of his house in Koloshin street; he was taken to hospital. The entire political spectrum condemned the attack. Though the perpetrators were not found, Pantić pointed to the pro-boycott groups, who were not interested in official representation of Serbs within Kosovo.[7][8][9]

On election day, there were incidents and clashes with police, after extremists raided several polling stations and spoiled votes.[2][10] Staff were assaulted, ballot boxes smashed, and tear gas canisters set off.[11] This disruption caused the elections to be annulled in three polls in northern Mitrovica,[12] repeated on November 17.[13][14] The government of Serbia had encouraged Serbs in North Kosovo to participate in the elections,[15] but this violence undermined attempts to normalise relations between the two governments. According to the OSCE the voter turnout was 22% in Leposavić, 22% in Zubin Potok and 11.21% in Zvečan.[12] Oliver Ivanović called for the results in the northern four municipalities to be annulled.[16] Following Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj declarations that "the mayors in the north should be of Serbian ethnicity",[17][18] the Albanian opposition accused the government and DPK for having intentionally facilitated the defeat of Albanian candidates for the sake of stimulating the Serbian citizens in the north, despite their low voter turnout.[19][20]

Partial repetition in Northern Mitrovica[edit]

The partial revoting in three polls of Northern Mitrovica was quiet without any notable incident.[21] The result reconfirmed G.I.Srpska had the plurality, pushing the municipality elections into the second round.

Results 2nd round[edit]

The media reported a turnout of 41.5%, while the official statement after the closing of polls from the Central Election Commission chairwoman Valdete Daka gave a turnout of 39.87%.[22]

New Kosovo Alliance (AKR) won in Đakovica with Mimoza Kusari Lila, former Minister of Commerce, becoming the first female mayor in the history of the new country. The same New Kosovo Alliance (AKR) (supported by Democratic League of Kosovo) won in Southern Mitrovica.[23]

Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) won in Gjilan, Lipjan, Pejë, Suva Reka, Ferizaj, and Viti.[23]

Vetëvendosje! won in Prishtina, where LDK had previously ruled since ever.[23]

Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) won in Dragash, Klina, Kamenica, Rahovec, Prizren, and Vushtrri.[23]

Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AKR) in coalition with Democratic League of Dardania (LDD) won in Obilić, and Junik.[23]

G.I.Srpska won in Novo Brdo, Gracanica, Ranillug, Klokot, Partesh (result got suspended by the CEC due to irregularities and partial repetition established for two weeks later),[24] and Northern Mitrovica.[23]

Independent Liberal Party (SLS) won in Štrpce.[23]

Civic Initiative for Malishevo (Albanian: Iniciativa Qytetare Për Malishevën) led by former KLA leader and politician Fatmir Limaj, won in Malisheva.[23]

Incidents during the Second Round[edit]

Incidents similar to Northern Mitrovica during the first round we reported in Partesh during the second round, where groups of persons entered the voting polls and destroyed the materials.[25] The Central Election Commission reordered re-voting in three polls to be held in December 15, 2013, before finalizing the results for this municipality.[26]
Other controversies sprang in Prishtina, where a video of Isa Mustafa's son trying to buy votes were registered and distributed to the media from a VV! activist.[27][28]

Partial repetition in Partesh[edit]

The repetition took place in Pasjan village on December 15. 1304 voters (68.78%) participated. G.I.Srpska won over SLS with 52.4%.[29]

Incidents in overall[edit]

The official statement from the Prosecution Office during the fourth press conference within December 1, stated that the office received material regarding 44 cases involving 81 persons. Out of these, 16 charges were pressed towards 21 persons. In addition, 8 persons were arrested during the same day for various offenses related to the election process.[30][31][32]

Reactions[edit]

  • European Union EU: EU Special Representative in Kosovo Samuel Žbogar said the election was a success, even in Northern Kosovo. He said that there was a good voter turn-out in Northern Kosovo.[33]
  • Germany Germany: German government spokesman Steffen Seibert condemned the violence and praised Kosovo and Serbia for the election.[34]
  • OSCE logo.svgOrganization for Security and Co-operation in Europe: OSCE spokesman Nikola Gaon said that the attack on the electoral process and the OSCE staff cannot be tolerated and that the mission is expecting that the attackers will be found and convicted.[12]
  • Kosovo The Kosovo government called the elections a historical step in integrating the north with the rest of Kosovo, and evaluated them as very positive.[35]
  • United States American Embassy in Pristina said that they were encouraged by the turnout and the ongoing elections in the north, nevertheless they would be following the reported irregularities and expected that all issues got resolved conforming to Kosovo legislation.[36]
  • European Network of Election Monitoring Organizations (ENEMO), in its preliminary conclusions regarding the re-run in Northern Mitrovica, stated that the re-run of the 1st round of local elections in North Mitrovica was conducted efficiently and administered in a peaceful atmosphere in all Polling Centers, with occasional procedural shortcomings.[37]

Oaths controversy, Pantić resignation and 3rd election[edit]

All candidates who won elections had to sign a swearing in and oath paper that contained symbols of the Republic of Kosovo. In Serbian areas, a piece of paper was taped over the symbols so that Serbs would sign them without incident. Krstmir Pantić, mayor-elect of North Mitrovica, took the paper off the symbols, declared he would never sign them and resigned. A new election for North Mitrovica was scheduled for February 23, 2014.[38] [39] Goran Rakić won the election on February 23. He campaigned that he would sign the oath and pledge loyalty to Pristina unlike Pantić.[40]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kosovo votes amid violence and ethnic Serb boycott fear". BBC News. 3 November 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Kosovo violence leaves election in tatters". BBC Sport. 4 November 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Commission fails announce results for north". B92. 4 November 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Thirteen candidates win in the first round (in Albanian)
  5. ^ "Radio Free Europe". 16 August 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2013. 
  6. ^ "Violence fails to stop first ever Kosovo-wide election". EUObserver. Retrieved 4 November 2013. 
  7. ^ Serb mayoral candidate attacked in Kosovo, inSerbia, 2-11-2013, retrieved 26-11-2013 
  8. ^ Andrew Rettman (04-11-2013), Violence fails to stop first ever Kosovo-wide election, Brussels: EUobserver.com, retrieved 26-11-2013 
  9. ^ Përplasje mes serbëve, rrihet kandidati i "Serbisë" në veri [Clashes between Serbs, Srpska candidate in the north gets beaten] (in Albanian), Gazeta Start, 02-11-2013, retrieved 26-11-2013 
  10. ^ "Incidents in northern Kosovska Mitrovica". B92. 3 November 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2013. 
  11. ^ "Violence in Kosovo election undermines Belgrade’s attempts to normalise relations with Pristina". Euronews. 4 November 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2013. 
  12. ^ a b c "Ballots from three polling stations annulled". B92. 4 November 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2013. 
  13. ^ Kosovo violence: Poll re-run is ordered in Mitrovica, BBC, 6-11-2013, retrieved 26-11-13 
  14. ^ Re-run of Municipal Elections in MITROVICA, KFOR, 2013-11-18, retrieved 26-11-13 
  15. ^ "Violence and low turnout mar Kosovo election". EUBusiness. 3 November 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2013. 
  16. ^ "Elections in north should be annulled" - B92
  17. ^ Hoxhaj: Kryetari i Mitrovicës veriore serb [Hoxhaj: Mayor of northern Mitrovica - Serbian] (in Albanian), Gazeta Tribuna, 14-11-13, retrieved 26-11-13 
  18. ^ Hoxhaj: Kryetari i Mitrovicës veriore serb [Hoxhaj: Mayor of northern Mitrovica - Serbian] (in Albanian), Bota Sot, 2013-11-14, retrieved 26-11-13 
  19. ^ Qeveria e humbi veriun qëllimisht! [The government got intentionally defeated in the north!] (in Albanian), XLPress.tv, 2013-11-18, retrieved 26-11-13 
  20. ^ Qeveria e humbi veriun qëllimisht! [The government intentionally lost the north!] (in Albanian), Bota Sot, 2013-11-18, retrieved 26-11-13 
  21. ^ DnV: Rivotimi, në përgjithësi i qetë dhe i rregullt [Democracy in Action: Revoting, in overall quiet and regular] (in Albanian), telegrafi.com, 2013-11-17, retrieved 11.12.2013 
  22. ^ "KQZ shpalli rezultatet preliminare" [CEC declares preliminary results] (in Albanian). Kosova Press. 02-12-2013. Retrieved 02-12-2013. 
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h Official results - Second round
  24. ^ Partesh results (Second Round) - CEC
  25. ^ European observers positively evaluate elections in Kosovo, KosovaPress, 03.12.2013, retrieved 11/12/2013 
  26. ^ Re-voting will take place in Polling Center 360 3D of Partesh municipality, Central Election Commission of Kosovo, 06-12-2013, retrieved 11.12.2013 
  27. ^ Djali i Isa Mustafes tenton të blejë anëtarin e VV-së VIDEO [Isa Mustafa's son trying to buy off the VV! activist - Video] (in Albanian), standardi.info, 2013-11-28, retrieved 11.12.2013 
  28. ^ KTV -SKANDALI I LDK-se- DJALI I ISA MUSTAFES DHE KESHILLTARI NE LDK, FAVORE TE RIUT PER KALIM NE LDK [KTV - Scandal of DLK - Isam Mustafa's son and a DLK counselor, offering favors to the youngster for passing to DLK] (YouTube) (in Albanian). KohaVision TV. Retrieved 11.12.2013. 
  29. ^ Local Elections of 2013 Process is through (in Albanian) - CEC
  30. ^ Hetime për personat që tentuan të manipulojnë me vota [Investigations on persons who tried to manipulate the votes] (in Albanian), Bota Sot, 2.12.2013, retrieved 11.12.2013 
  31. ^ Hetime për personat që tentuan të manipulojnë me vota [Investigations on persons who tried to manipulate the votes] (in Albanian), KohaTV, 02.12.2013, retrieved 11.12.2013 
  32. ^ 7 të arrestuar për dyshim manipulimi [7 arrested for manipulation attempts] (in Albanian), Kosova Press, 1.12.2013, retrieved 11.12.2013 
  33. ^ "EU observers to publish report on elections". B92. 5 November 2013. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  34. ^ "Violence will not stop path of compromise German government". inserbia. 4 November 2013. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  35. ^ "Thaçi vlerëson zgjedhjet në Kosovën veriore" [Thaçi evaluates the elections in northern Kosovo] (in Albanian). VOA. 04.11.2013. Retrieved 26-11-13. 
  36. ^ Besim Abazi (2013-11-17). "Vlerësime për zgjedhjet në veriun e Mitrovicës" [Considerations on the elections in northern Kosovo]. VOA. Retrieved 26-11-13. 
  37. ^ Preliminary Statement on repeated 1st round of Elections at three polling centers in North Mitrovica
  38. ^ http://www.balkaneu.com/fresh-elections-announced-northern-mitrovica/
  39. ^ http://www.transconflict.com/2014/01/kosovo-perhaps-quint-still-doesnt-understand-north-141/
  40. ^ http://www.worldbulletin.net/news/129540/new-mayor-elected-in-mitrovica-kosovo