Local election day, October 22, 2017. | Photo: Atdhe Mulla

Kurti Demands Condemnation of Belgrade by EU, After Serbian List Boycott of Local Elections

The Prime Minister of Kosovo has requested the EU to condemn the violation of the basic agreement by Serbia, since the Serbian List party will not participate in the local elections in the northern municipalities with a Serbian majority in Kosovo.

PM Kurti called the Serbian List’s decision not to participate in the snap local elections an “exercise of control by Belgrade” towards it,  on Twitter on Thursday.

“The Serbian List refused to participate in local elections in the 4 northern municipalities of Kosovo, this April. This is a clear sign of Belgrade’s control over the party and nonstop interference in Kosovo’s domestic affairs. The EU must condemn this prompt violation of the Basic Agreement”, tweeted Kurti.

The Central Election Commission, CEC in Kosovo announced on Wednesday that no political entity has applied to participate in the extraordinary elections for the four Serbian-majority municipalities in the north of Kosovo on the period from 9 to 22 March 2023, for the elections that will take place on April 23.

The elections, expected to be held in December last year, were postponed at the request of the international community, to April 2023.

Political entities and candidates already certified in November and December 2022, for participation in the elections of December 18 and 25, have re-confirmed participation for the elections of April and they did not need to submit a new application for certification. 

According to CEC, the certified parties for participation in the elections are: Mitrovica Civic Initiative, Democratic Party of Kosovo, Kosovskih Srba Party, Sladjana Pantovic (independent candidate) and Vetëvendosje.

Meanwhile the Serbian List, which has been the ruling party in these municipalities, will not participate.

The Serbian List – which has the support of the Serbian government- on Monday reaffirmed that it will not participate in the upcoming polls. It announced the party will hold to the decision until two demands are met: the formation of the Association of Serb-Majority Municipalities, and the withdrawal of all special units of the Kosovo Police from the north of Kosovo.

The formation of the Association should be resolved with the Agreement towards normalization, supported by the EU, which both Kosovo and Serbia have accepted.

The President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, after a meeting with Kosovar premier Kurti, on March 18 in Ohrid, North Macedonia, noted that the elections in the north of Kosovo can be postponed until June.

Extraordinary local elections are set to be held in the four northern municipalities – North Mitrovica, Zveçan, Leposavic and Zubin Potok,  after the resignations of their mayors, in November 2022.

Collective resignations of Serbs, from Kosovo’s institutions, were a sign of dissatisfaction with the decision of the Government of Kosovo to re-register cars with Serbian vehicle license plates [issued by the Serbian authorities] with the RKS [Republic of Kosovo] code. 

*The article was edited on Friday, March 24, to correct the title claiming that Kurti Demands Condemnation of Belgrade by EU, and not Kurti Demands Condemnation of Serbian List by EU. 

24/03/2023 - 11:26

24 March 2023 - 11:26

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