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news 11 Jun 17

Kosovo Citizens to Decide on New Government

Around two million Kosovo citizens will be able to vote in Kosovo’s snap elections on Sunday, following the fall of the government and the dissolution of Parliament.

Die Morina
Previous elections in Kosovo. Photo: BIRN.

From 8am, 1, 872, 941 citizens can vote in Kosovo. The  Central Election Commission, CEC confirmed that on Sunday, 889 polling stations will be open, which is 91 more than in the last elections in 2014.

According to the CEC there are over 118,000 voters who can participate in elections for the first time, while more than 29,000 observers will be on duty. 

Kosovo’s elections are marked by grand pre-election coalitions for the first time in the history of multi-party elections in the country, which began in 2000.

These coalitions consist of the same political players, but the old divisions between “war” and “peace” wing parties persist.

These parties will compete for 100 seats in parliament. Additionally, parties from minority communities will compete for 20 guaranteed seats, making a total of 120 seats.

The biggest coalition of 13 parties links the Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK, the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, AAK, and the Initiative for Kosovo, NISMA, all led by former leaders of the Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA. Their prime ministerial candidate is Ramush Haradinaj.

Another coalition unites the Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, the New Kosovo Alliance, AKR, and a new formation, Alternative, led by the mayor of  the municipality of Gjakova. The coalition decided on Avdullah Hoti, former minister of finance, as its prime ministerial candidate.

The opposition Vetevendosje (“self-determination”) party, is the only entity running alone after opting not to enter any pre- election coalition. Albin Kurti, Vetevendosje’s former leader, is their prime ministerial candidate.

On May 10 yet another government fell before its mandate should have ended, after 78 MPs backed a vote of no confidence in the administration.

The opposition has been demanding elections for two years, mainly because of controversial agreements that the government signed in Brussels in 2015 on border demarcation with Montenegro – that is still to be voted on in parliament – and on establishing an autonomous Association of Serb-majority municipalities.

The ruling coalition [PDK- LDK] has faced bitter opposition both outside and within various institutions over both of these issues.

Opposition MPs have even resorted to using teargas in parliament to disrupt matters.

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