The European Union has welcomed an agreement reached on OSCE facilitation of voting in Kosovo in the Serbian parliamentary and presidential elections. In a statement issued on Tuesday, EU Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton pledged full support to the OSCE for carrying out its facilitating role. She called on both Kosovo and Serbia to continue to cooperate with the OSCE in good faith so that the vote is held in a peaceful and orderly way. She also urged all sides to refrain from any action which may spark tensions. “EULEX will monitor the security environment and will execute its mandate in close cooperation with the other international and local organizations involved,” the High Representative said.Full Article: EU Welcomes Facilitation Of Voting In Kosovo In Serbian Elections.
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of Kosovo.
The Ministry for Kosovo told the Republic Electoral Commission (RIK) that the OSCE had set out a number of requirements for holding elections in Kosovo. Advisor to the minister for Kosovo and Metohija Vlada Jovičić said that the commission and the OSCE had agreed in principle on the OSCE assisting RIK in conducting the elections in the province, but the OSCE requirements that were “bordering on legality.” The OSCE recommends that for security reasons, the votes should be counted outside Kosovo and Metohija, the electoral commissions should only have a chairperson and two more members and the polls should be held at a total of 19 stations with between 70 and 100 polling booths, while in the mostly Serb-populated north, a few more polling stations should be opened. One of the OSCE requirements is that Serbia’s national symbols only be placed inside the polling stations.Full Article: B92 - Info - Election commission hears about OSCE's Kosovo requirements.
Serbian authorities will not organise local elections in Kosovo according to the Serbian minister for Kosovo Goran Bogdanović. He explained that Belgrade received a negative answer from the UN administration in Pristina – UNMIK – which is administrating Kosovo in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 1244. “We do not intend to break UNSC Resolution 1244 in any way and endanger Serbs living south from the Ibar river,” Bogdanović stressed, reminding that according to the Resolution, UNMIK is in charge of organising local elections in Kosovo. He added that this situation does not imply closure of Serbian institutions in Kosovo, pointing out that elections were not held in 1999 or 2008. Bogdanović rejected announcements of two Serbian municipalities in northern Kosovo who stated they will hold local elections regardless of the UNMIK stance. He reiterated that no one has the right to break the UNSC Resolution 1244.Full Article: Serbs divided over Kosovo local elections | New Europe.
Kosovo’s Interior Minister Bajram Rexhepi said on Wednesday the police were still determined to prevent Serbia from holding local elections in Kosovo. “The police will work with EULEX and KFOR and do everything to prevent the poll,” he told Radio Kontakt Plus. Rexhepi does not expect heavy rioting once the police intervenes. “The police will focus on confiscating election material and prevention, and those actions are regulated by law,” he stated, adding that the authorities wished no tension, but also that those organizing the elections should be sensible. He did not specify when the operation would occur, explaining that it was part of the plan and that he could not discuss it.Full Article: B92 - Info - Kosovo police “determined to prevent Serbian poll”.
On 14-15 February, Serbs living in four municipalities of northern Kosovo voted in a referendum and overwhelmingly rejected the authority of the Republic of Kosovo. Even the referendum question seemed to indicate the direction in which the vote would go: ‘Do you accept the institutions of the so-called Republic of Kosovo?’ Some 35,500 people living in the four Kosovo municipalities were eligible to vote and, according to preliminary results, around 75% of them cast their ballots, with 99.74% circling ‘No’.Full Article: Resounding ‘No’ delivered in Kosovo referendum [ANALYSIS] | New Europe.
Ethnic Serbs in northern Kosovo voted Tuesday in a referendum on whether to recognize the government in Pristina, which they have ignored since Serbia’s former province became independent in 2008. Kosovo is 90 percent ethnic Albanian. Serbs dominate in a small swathe of the north bordering Serbia and pledge allegiance to Belgrade. They have so far resisted efforts by the Kosovo government to extend its authority there. The result of the two-day referendum is expected on February 19. The decision will have little practical impact but could further stoke ethnic tensions.Full Article: Kosovo Serbs hold referendum on Pristina government | Reuters.
Post-Election Public Opinion in Kosovo 2011, IFES’ third post-election survey in the country since 2008, is now available. The poll captures the perspectives of Kosovo citizens on matters such as perceptions of democracy, opinions on the December 2010 elections, and assessments of the overall situation in the country.
These IFES surveys have provided much insight into the evolution of opinions of Kosovo citizens from immediately prior to the country’s declaration of independence in 2008 to this year. The data not only gives a pulse of the country, but is a thorough gauge of public opinion on the country’s advancing electoral process and democracy.Full Article: IFES - Results from the 2011 Post-Election Survey in Kosovo.