comment 19 Oct 17

Kosovo’s ‘Democratic Test’ Will Only Come After Elections

October’s local elections in Kosovo will likely be free and fair – the real test of this young country’s democratic health is what happens after the election.

Armend Bekaj
BIRN
Election day in Kosovo, June 2017 | Photo: Atdhe Mulla

However, Kosovo’s longer-term challenge with democratisation is not the electionday. The chances are that this time, too, the elections will be organised in line with international standards.

In the long run, Kosovo’s challenge is the backsliding that occurs after elections: the delays, uncompromising positions, behind-the-scene manipulations, political buy-outs and sell-outs.

Such delays grind the administration into a near standstill and have lasting ramifications for the consolidation of still brittle democratic institutions.

Recent examples are indicative of these points. On 11 June, Kosovo held a snap general election, following a motion of no confidence and the subsequent dissolution of parliament.

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