North Kosovo referendum, 2012
An advisory referendum on accepting the institutions of the Republic of Kosovo[a] was held in the Serb-dominated regions of north Kosovo on 14 and 15 February 2012. The referendum was held in Zubin Potok, Zvečan and Kosovska Mitrovica on both days, while Leposavić voted on 15 February. The voting ran from 7:00 to 19:00 on both days. 15 February is also symbolically Serbia's National Day. The result saw 99.74% of voters reject the writ of the Republic of Kosovo's institutions and only 69 supporters.
Though North Kosovo, as part of the Assembly of the Community of Municipalities of the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija, adheres to the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244, it opposed the unilateral 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence (the Kosovo Serb enclaves are under the de facto jurisdiction of the institutions of the Republic of Serbia, though this is disputed by the Kosovan Assembly). The referendum was announced on December 25, 2011, by Kosovska Mitrovica Mayor Krstimir Pantić, to ascertain local opinion about the writ of the Republic of Kosovo's institutions.
Both the European Union and Serbia are against the referendum. Kosovan Serbs feared that Serbia opposed the referendum in order to win support for accession to the EU, part of a condition is to resolve the Kosovo dispute. The notion was however rejected by Serbian President Boris Tadic and the Minister of State for Kosovo Oliver Ivanovic. The parliament of Kosovo passed a motion declaring the referendum invalid.
Similarly, the Foreign Ministry of Albania expressed concern about holding a referendum organised by the Serbian parallel structures and that they claimed was inspired by Belgrade. It said that the referendum was not legal and would have no judicial effect, it would also allegedly not serve the interest of ethnic communities to socially, economically and politically integrate within Kosovo.
Milan Ivanovic, the president of the Serbian National Council of North Kosovo, criticised Serbia proper for having failed in its Kosovo policy while sticking by the decision to democratically demonstrate the view of the Serbs of north Kosovo.
North Kosovo barricades
The unilaterally proclaimed Republic of Kosovo sought to impose its customs officials in the administrative border crossings with Serbia. Kosovar Serbs sought the removal of Republic of Kosovo customs officials from border crossings with Serbia. In doing so they sought to erect road blocks that would make travel difficult for KFOR troops in the area seeking to maintain "law and order."
The referendum was held in four municipalities with a Serbian majority in the north of Kosovo, with 35,500 eligible voters. Some of the voting papers were also in the Albanian language.
There were 82 voting stations: 13 in Kosovska Mitrovica, 11 in Zvečan, 25 in Zubin Potok, and 33 in Leposavić.
According to Ljuba Radović, referendum commission's spokesman, there currently was no information on whether ethnic Albanians will take part in the referendum, though three villages (Žaža, Boljetin and Lipa) in the Zvečan municipality, which are of a Kosovar Albanian majority, have said that they will not take part.
|North Kosovo referendum, 2012|
|Invalid or blank votes||134||0.50%|
On 1 March, the accession of Serbia to the European Union was given "candidate status" on the premise of progress over the Kosovo dispute (as well as other "reforms").
|a.||^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Kosovo. The latter declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. Kosovo's independence has been recognised by 107 out of 193 United Nations member states.|
- Barlovac, Bojana; Aliu (Fatmir). "Northern Serbs Vote 'No' to Kosovo". Balkan Insight. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
- Northern Kosovo ready for referendum, B 92, 12 February 2012, retrieved 15 February 2012
- "Commission deplores Serb's Northern Kosovo referendum", EurActiv, 14 February 2012, retrieved 15 February 2012
- Vujisic, Tanja (15 February 2012), Kosovo Serbs defy Belgrade, EU with referendum, AFP, retrieved 15 February 2012
- Ristic, Marija (February 15, 2012). "Kosovo Serb Referendum Goes Into Second Day". Balkan Insight. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
- Север Косова неће Приштину