Hundreds of Vetevendosje supporters celebrating the victory of mayoral elections in Podujeva. Photo: Urim Krasniqi/Prishtina Insight.

Vetevendosje wins mayoral election in Podujeva

Shpejtim Bulliqi of Vetevendosje has won the mayorship of Podujeva in the first round of voting after securing over 51 percent of the vote, ending two decades of LDK rule in the municipality.

The Central Election Commission, CEC, has announced the result of the extraordinary mayoral election in Podujeva, with Vetevendosje’s Shpejtim Bulliqi winning the contest in the first round of voting. 

Securing 51.64 percent of the vote, Bulliqi avoided the need for a run-off, beating LDK’s Nexhmi Rudari into second place with 35.97 percent. Naim Fetahu, the candidate for the Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK, came third with 12.4 percent. The CEC stated that turnout for the election reached 40.51 percent. 

The by-election for the mayorship in Podujeva was triggered after Agim Veliu resigned as mayor to become interior minister in February this year. However, the ongoing coronavirus crisis delayed the election, with the date eventually announced on October 20 by former president Hashim Thaci.

LDK’s defeat will be seen as a major blow for the party, who have governed in the municipality for the past twenty years. In 2017, Agim Veliu won the mayoral run-off election with over 63 percent of the vote.

At a press conference on Sunday night, Veliu appeared alongside Rudari to concede defeat and criticised the winning party, Vetevendosje. “They know how to do good propaganda and to deceive, but soon citizens of Podujeva will understand that they do not know how to govern,” Veliu said.

Bulliqi will have a short first mandate, with local municipal and mayoral elections scheduled for October 2021. Regardless, hundreds of Vetevendosje supporters ignored coronavirus restrictions to celebrate Bulliqi’s victory, with party leader Albin Kurti addressing the crowds in the main square of Podujeva. 

“Tonight not only Shpejtim and Vetevendosje won, you as citizens won,” Kurti said. “We have not taken the municipality, we are returning it back to you, dear citizens.”

An extraordinary mayoral election was also held also in the municipality of North Mitrovica due to former mayor Goran Rakic becoming deputy prime minister on June 3.

Rakic will be replaced by his Lista Srpska colleague Milan Radojevic, who won in a landslide victory, securing more than 89 per cent of the vote. According to the CEC, turnout for the election was 39.14 percent.

29/11/2020 - 21:45

29 November 2020 - 21:45

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.