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news 20 Nov 17

Opposition Parties Make Gains in Kosovo Election Run-offs

The opposition Vetevendosje party and the Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, both had cause to celebrate as the results came in from the second round of local elections - as did the Prime Minister's party.

Die Morina
BIRN
Pristina
Shpend Ahmeti from Vetevendosje celebrating in Pristina's 'Zahir Pajaziti' square on Sunday evening | Photo: Atdhe Mulla

Preliminary results from Kosovo's Central Election Commission, CEC, held good news for the opposition Vetevendosje party and the Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK - and for the governing Alliance of the Future of Kosovo, AAK. It was bad night for the Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK.

Vetevendosje appears to have won in three municipalities, including the capital, Pristina, where the current mayor, Shpend Ahmeti, looks set to retain his post. The other confirmed wins were in the second biggest city of Prizren and in Kamenica.

Ahmeti appears to have won in Pristina with a very tight result, taking 50.19 per cent of the votes. The runner-up, the LDK’s candidate, Arban Abrashi, won 49.81 per cent. However, postal votes have yet to be counted, so the final result is too close to call as yet.  

A surprise win for Vetvendosje came in Prizren, where its candidate, Mytaher Haskukaj, won 50.32 per cent of the votes. The runner-up, Shaqir Totaj, from the PDK, which had governed Prizren for the last three mandates, won 49.68 per cent of the votes.

In the last municipal elections, Vetevendosje won only in the capital, Pristina. This time it is also is going to govern Kamenica, where Qendron Kastrati won with 55.69 per cent of the votes against Shaip Surdulli of the LDK with 44.31 per cent.

Another surprise winner in the local elections is Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj’s Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, AAK. In the last elections, it won only three municipalities. Now it has won in seven: Decan, Junik, Gjakove/Djakovica, Klina, Obiliq/Obilic, Suhareke/Suva Reka and Rahovec/Orahovec.

Overall, the LDK won more municipalities than any other party, winning four more municipalities in the second round. On top of the four it won in the first round, that made a total of eight: Peja/Pec, Lipjan, Fushe Kosovo/Kosovo Polje, Viti/Vitina, Gjilan/Gnjilane, Istog, Podujeve/ Podujevo and Vushtrri/Vucitrna.

The PDK has had a disappointing election, losing such strongholds as Prizren, Vushtrri/Vucitrna, Klina and Rahovec/Orahovac. Last time round, the PDK won 10 municipalities. This time it won only five, keeping its stronghold Glogovc/Glogovac during the first round and winning run-offs in Dragash/Dragas, Kacanik, Shtime/Shtimlje and Ferizaj/Urosevac.

The Alliance New Kosovo kept control of South Mitrovica, where current major Agim Bahtiri saw off the challenge from the PDK’s Valdete Idrizi.

Kllokot, the only municipality with Serb majority that held a run-off vote, will be governed by the Belgrade-backed Lista Srpska, leaving it in control of all ten mainly Serbian municipalities in Kosovo.

During the first round, two independent candidates won in Skenderaj/Srebrenica, Bekim Jashari and Rufki Suma in Hani I Elezit/Elez Han.

The turnout in the elections was 38.10 per cent, according to the CEC.

Right after the preliminary results were announced, the fans of political parties went out on cities’ main square to celebrate, including Vetevendosje in Pristina’s Zahir Pajaziti square.

 

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