Photo: BIRN

New Mayor of North Mitrovica Sworn Into Office

Erden Atic, the new mayor of North Mitrovica has sworn, following his victory in the extraordinary elections. The ceremony took place amidst tensions and calls for peaceful collaboration.

The candidate of the Vetëvendosje Movement, has been sworn in as the new mayor of North Mitrovica. He received the highest number of votes in the special elections held on April 23. Katarina Adjancic was elected as the deputy mayor.

During the swearing-in ceremony, Erden Atic stated, “I, Erden Atic, promise to fulfill my duties as the mayor of North Mitrovica with honor, loyalty, impartiality, and in accordance with the law to ensure a peaceful life.”

The Republic of Kosovo flag was placed in the municipality building while Atic took the oath. The session was attended by 13 assembly members and the Minister of Local Government Administration, Elbert Krasniqi. The Kosovo Police maintained order during the ceremony.

Photo: BIRN

The other three candidates for mayors in Northern Kosovo have not sworn in yet and there is no information when they will do so. Minister Elbert Krasniqi mentioned that the date for the swearing-in of mayors in the municipalities of Leposavic, Zubin Potok, and Zvecan is not yet known, but the government will respect the decided date.

The U.S. ambassador to Kosovo, Jeffrey Hovenier,  declared that that force should not be used to enter municipal buildings in northern Kosovo. He conveyed this message to Prime Minister Albin Kurti during their meeting on Thursday.

“The US thinks that this should end, conflicts and actions that lead to increased tensions in the north should be avoided. We expect the elected mayors to exercise a technical role, rather than a political role, to take actions that are not seen as an escalation of tensions, and we want the government to support them,” he declared in a statement to the media.

The countries of France, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States issued a  in a joint statement, clarifying that there is no requirement for mayors to be sworn in to municipal offices.

Photo: BIRN

They called for urgent collaboration among all stakeholders, including local communities, to find a sustainable democratic representation solution for these municipalities.

“After the boycott by a large part of the Serbian community, the results are no longer a long-term political solution for these municipalities”, this statement further stated.

The new mayors, all from Albanian parties, were elected in the April 23 elections in the northern municipalities predominantly inhabited by Serbs. The previous mayors resigned to express dissatisfaction with the Kosovo Government’s decision to re-register illegal Serbian cars under the Republic of Kosovo.

The majority of residents in the four Serbian-majority municipalities boycotted the election process.

According to the Central Electoral Commission, only 1,567 voters, which is 3.47 percent of the electoral body, participated in the elections.

19/05/2023 - 14:58

19 May 2023 - 14:58

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