Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Kosova elections: 32 political subjects will represent the Serb community and a 4th Serb Municipality to be created

103 political subjects have been certified for Kosovo’s November municipal elections. 32 will represent the Serb community, says ECMI Kosovo’s September Newsletter.
The Central Election Commission (CEC) of Kosovo has certified 103 political subjects for the upcoming municipal elections. The subjects consist of 33 political parties, two coalitions, 53 citizens’ initiatives and 15 independent candidates. The municipal elections are to be held on 3 November.
Besides the single Serb list Civic Serb Initiative or Građanska Inicijativa “Srpska”, which is the only Serb subject supported by the government of Serbia, the Serb community will be represented by an additional 31 political subjects. Nine of the subjects will be competing in the Serb dominated northern Kosovo. 

Lists with candidates were also submitted by all other Kosovo non-majority communities, namely Bosniaks, Turks, Roma, Ashkali, Egyptian, Montenegrins, Croats, and Gorani.
Information on the up-coming election:
Preparations of the November elections are part of the trilateral dialogue meetings between Prime Ministers Ivica Dačić, Serbia, Hashim Thaçi, Kosovo, and EU High Representative Catherine Ashton. The current dialogue meetings are about the implementation of the “Brussels Agreement”. 
Prime Minister Dačić has confirmed that Serbs may vote with the ID they already possess. He has further stressed the need for efforts and mechanisms to ensure the voting of all internally displaced persons (IDPs) and of those born in Kosovo.
The OSCE Mission in Kosovo has been authorized to organize the elections in the Serb dominated northern municipalities and of displaced Serbs.
The Municipality of Northern Mitrovica is expected to be established as the fourth Serb municipality in northern Kosovo after the elections of 3 November.
The CEC has announced that the ballots will not carry any symbols of the Republic of Kosovo. Instead, they will carry the logo of the CEC. The design of the ballot papers was one of the major topics during the 27 August trilateral dialogue meeting.
Kosovo Serbs have been publicly called to vote in the November municipal elections by both Kosovo’s and Serbia’s top officials.
In a meeting with Serbs from Kosovo and the President of Serbia, Tomislav Nikolić, it was agreed to have a unified Serb list that would be supported by the government of Serbia.
Previously, the CEC requested the word “Serbia” to be removed from the names of all Serb lists running for the November elections. This resulted in the respective Serb lists amending their names.
The CEC also reported that it has received around 39.000 applications from Serb voters outside of Kosovo to be included in the electoral lists. However, during the verification process, only about 6.500 were accepted as valid.
The elections will be monitored by an EU Election Observation Mission, tasked with observing the electoral process in order to ensure its transparency and compliance with international standards for democratic elections and domestic law. Roberto Gaultieri has been appointed as the head of the Mission.
The Government of Serbia has adopted the decision to dissolve the assemblies of the four municipalities in northern Kosovo and appointed heads of interim bodies.
The upcoming local elections are accompanied by tensions especially within the Serb community as demonstrated by a number of incidents, including an attack on Oliver Ivanović’s family on the 12 September in Mitrovica.