Violence that forced voting stations to close early on Sunday in the Serbian-dominated city of north Mitrovica and led to the destruction of ballots is likely to prompt Kosovo authorities to order a rerun of elections there, officials said on Monday. While violence was a blow to European Union-brokered peace efforts between Serbia and Kosovo, regional and European officials stressed that elections went smoothly in the rest of the country and there was significant turnout of ethnic Serbs in southern Kosovo, where ethnic Albanians dominate. On Tuesday, the EU’s election mission will issue its preliminary verdict on the conduct of Sunday’s elections. Decisions on whether and how to boost security in the north in coming weeks are still being considered, officials said.
Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci will travel to Brussels on Wednesday to meet EU foreign-policy chief Catherine Ashton and Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic, Kosovo officials said. The three have met regularly over the past year as Serbia and its former province have worked to end years of enmity.
Serbia is due to start accession talks with the EU in January, but EU governments must set the date, and any backsliding in the peace process could still scuttle that. Kosovo also hopes to join the 28-nation bloc.
An independent Kosovo multiparty election committee is formally in charge of the vote schedule, but several EU and local officials, including Kosovo Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj, said that with many of the ballots destroyed in north Mitrovica during Sunday’s attacks, the vote is likely to be repeated.
Full Article: Kosovo Expected to Order Rerun of Vote – WSJ.com.