Kosovo committee removes 86 candidates from local election lists

The Central Election Committee decertified dozens of candidates for municipal mayors and councilors due to their criminal records.

The Central Election Committee, CEC, decided to decertify 86 candidates running in the October 22 local elections because they were convicted by Kosovo court verdicts in the past three years.

Of the de-certified candidates for municipal mayors or municipal councilors, the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, AAK, leads with the greatest number of decertified candidates at 17. The Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK,  had 14 de-certified candidates, followed by the Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, with 9, NISMA with 9, Vetevendosje with 6, New Kosovo Alliance, AKR, with 4, Partia e Drejtesise with 7, Lista Srpska  with 5, and some decertified candidates from smaller parties.

Political parties may propose new names to replace the decertified candidates by Friday, September 15.

The President of CEC, Valdete Daka, informed all of the decertified candidates that they have the right to file a complaint within 24 hours to the Election Complaint and Appeal Panel.

Eshref Vishi, NISMA representative, voted against the motion, claiming that not all of the verdicts had the same judicial consequence, especially those involving fines.

Among the decertified candidates is also the NISMA’s Zafir Berisha, running for the Mayor of Prizren. He claims that he was decertified because of a 140 euro fine. He announced that he will be filing a complaint with the Election Complaint and Appeal Panel, as well as with the Constitutional Court, “against violations of human rights.” He continued to say that CEC’s decision is absurd since according to the same law, he was allowed to run for June 11 parliamentary elections.

The Embassy of the United States in Kosovo, The Office of the European Union, and the OSCE Mission unanimously praised the CEC’s decision. On Twitter, Greg Delawie, the United States Ambassador in Kosovo, praised CEC for “upholding the law and removing convicted candidates from the list for municipal elections.” The EU Office in Kosovo called it a “good step towards more integrity in Kosovo politics.”

Last week the Quint States had appealed to the CEC to disqualify the candidates who were sentenced by the courts in the last three years. Democracy in Action, a local NGO, had also appealed to the CEC to decertify the candidates who had problems with the law.

13/09/2017 - 13:34

13 September 2017 - 13:34

Prishtina Insight is a digital and print magazine published by BIRN Kosovo, an independent, non-governmental organisation. To find out more about the organization please visit the official website. Copyright © 2016 BIRN Kosovo.