Photo: Atdhe Mulla

Vote recount ordered for Prishtina and Prizren

The Elections Complaint and Appeal Panel ordered a vote recount due to irregularities in two municipalities with tight races after Sunday’s mayoral runoffs.

On Sunday night, after the Central Election Commission, CEC, processed preliminary data for Kosovo’s mayoral runoffs, five municipalities were left open with tight mayoral races.

On Thursday, The Elections Complaint and Appeal Panel, ECAP, decided that all ballot boxes in the municipalities of Prishtina and Prizren — as well as at some polling stations in Dragash and Rahovec — are to be recounted due to irregularities.

In Prishtina, Vetevendosje, which had a slight lead, declared victory on Sunday night and began celebrating. However, incumbent Mayor Shpend Ahmeti of Vetevendosje was ahead Arban Abrashi of the Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, by less than one per cent of the vote. This preliminary number did not include the conditional and mail ballots that have yet to be counted.

The race became even tighter on Monday evening when CEC issued a correction for Prishtina: Ahmeti had only 237 votes more than Abrashi, not the 307 that was previously reported due to a data entry errors for polling stations 1921X/01R and 1921X/02R.

LDK responded by demanding a recount for the capital.

On Thursday, ECAP Spokesperson Mula Desku announced the recount orders.

“It was decided that all polling stations in Prishtina and Prizren will be recounted, as well as 35 polling stations in Dragash, and three polling stations in Rahovec,” Desku said.

On Thursday afternoon CEC voted to proceed with the ECAP decision.

One opposing CEC member, Vetevendosje’s representative Adnan Rrustemi, argued that the recount should be removed from the agenda until all conditional and mail ballots are counted, and for the 24-hour period in which appeals can be raised to the Supreme Court to pass.

However, the other CEC members voted to proceed with the recount.

“We are required to proceed with ECAP’s decisions,” said Valdete Daka, the president of CEC, adding that decisions of ECAP are considered as ordinances.

Shpend Ahmeti reacted, saying that the ECAP decision for a vote recount in Prishtina is unjust.

“The will of the people does not change, no matter how many unjust decisions you take,” wrote Ahmeti on his Facebook profile.

and 23/11/2017 - 13:26

23 November 2017 - 13:26

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.