Whether you like or not, the reality in Kosovo is that large parts of the country’s population are frustrated, nationalist and hold radical political views. The results of Sunday’s snap election clearly show the current state of society, where the country’s problems lie and the issues that must urgently be addressed. Almost 60 percent of the electorate did not even cast a ballot. These frustrated citizens no longer believe in the transformative power of democracy and they trust political elites less and less. Anyone who does make the effort to go out and vote always chooses the nationalist, radical option.
The potential for mobilizing people also lies in the well-organized networks of parties and alliances that are unwilling to compromise. More clearly than ever before, former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) commanders are setting the agenda. The Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) took 34 percent of the vote. The leader of the center-right alliance, Ramush Haradinaj, is set to become Kosovo’s new prime minister. Together with President Hashim Thaci, the two top government positions of the young nation will be filled by former KLA commanders.
Yet their victory cannot conceal the fact the leading politicians of this alliance may once again face charges at the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague. Haradinaj has already been tried and acquitted twice for war crimes. The tribunal’s Sword of Damocles is hovering over the government organizations that have evolved out of the KLA. If leading politicians are indicted, they can easily mobilize their sympathizers to stage mass shows of solidarity and cause unrest. The new alliance of former war heroes is a force to be reckoned with – this is something that international investigators have understandably been observing with concern.