Home Page
news 03 Oct 13

Serbia Threatens to Scupper Kosovo Polls

Serbia said it may advise local Serbs to boycott Kosovo's landmark local elections in November unless Kosovo agrees to include displaced Serbs who want to vote from Serbia.

BIRN Belgrade

Milovan Drecun, chairman of the Serbian parliament's committee on Kosovo, has accused Kosovo of obstructing the spring EU-led deal by refusing to accept voting applications submitted by 39,000 Serbs displaced by the Kosovo conflict of the 1990s.

“Pristina is trying to directly influence the results of the elections, and this is unacceptable," Drecun said.

Serbia said that 39,000 Serbs from Kosovo had filed requests to vote from Serbia, and their right to do so was previously agreed in Brussels.

But Kosovo's Central Electoral Commission in Pristina has turned down the requests on the grounds that voting outside the country is against the law.

Representatives of both Kosovo and Serbia failed to agree on the issue at Tuesday's meeting in Brussels but are due to meet again soon. Local elections in Kosovo are scheduled for November 3.

According to Drecun, Kosovo’s move has called into question the fairness of the elections, prompting Serbia to reconsider its support for them.

"Belgrade cannot call on the Serbs to turn out and vote just to give legitimacy to irregular elections," Drecun added.

Belgrade and Pristina signed a landmark deal under EU auspices in Brussels in April. The deal mainly concerns the rights of the Serb minority, who form a local majority in the country's far north.

The writ of the Kosovo government has never run in this area, which has been governed as a de-facto separate state, supported by neighbouring Serbia.

Under the terms of the Brussels agreement, Serbia agreed to halt direct support for separate institutions in northern Kosovo in exhange for an Association of Serbian Municipalities with broad powers being set up.

The four Serb-run northern municipalities in question are North Mitrovica, Leposavic, Zvecan and Zubin Potok.

Kosovo last held local elections in November 2009, but the vote was boycotted in the northern Serb-run municipalities, where local leaders were elected in a separate vote organised by Belgrade.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Serbia - Kosovo Relations: Latest Headlines

the-kosovo-serbia-dialogue-is-just-lose-lose--11-13-2017 Comment 13 Nov 17 The Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue is Just ‘Lose-Lose’

Both countries, and both peoples, stand to lose out in the long term from a ‘dialogue’ that has never advanced beyond leaders shaking hands and photo opportunities in Brussels.

serbia-s-flour-export-ignites-trade-war-with-kosovo-11-03-2017 News 03 Nov 17 Serbia Warns Kosovo Over Extra Tax on Flour

Serbia said it would introduce unspecified 'counter-measures', after Kosovo said it was sticking by its decision to raise the tax on imported Serbian flour.

serbian-monarchists-british-right-wingers-plot-kosovo-resistance--11-02-2017 Investigation 03 Nov 17 Serbian Monarchists, British Right-Wingers Plot Kosovo ‘Resistance’

Russian-linked Serbian monarchists and a British far-right organisation have been seeking to equip mystery groups in north Kosovo in order to resist what they believe will be an attack on Serbs by Kosovo Albanians.

kosovo-and-catalonia-have-little-in-common-11-02-2017 Comment 02 Nov 17 Kosovo and Catalonia Have Little in Common

Catalonia’s recent declaration of independence has prompted many to draw comparisons with events in Kosovo – but closer analysis shows the two cases are very different.

kosovo-serbs-show-theirs-fears-on-establishing-the-army-11-01-2017 news 01 Nov 17 Thaci Vows to Ease Serb Fears About Kosovo Army

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci joined a discussion on the potential creation of a regular army in Kosovo, saying Serbian fears about such a development needed addressing.

suriname-triggers-new-phase-in-kosovo-recognition-battle-11-01-2017 Comment 01 Nov 17 Suriname Triggers New Phase in Kosovo Recognition Battle

The apparent decision of a Latin American state to revoke its recognition of Kosovo shows the diplomatic struggle over Serbia’s former province is far from over.

serbian-authorities-want-wide-public-debate-on-kosovo-10-30-2017 News 30 Oct 17 Serbia Promises Broader Public Debate on Kosovo

As the Serbian government’s working group tasked to coordinate ‘internal dialogue’ on Kosovo held its first meeting, its head, Marko Djuric, said it aimed to encourage a wider public debate on this still very sensitive issue.

local-elections-reveal-different-strife-in-north-kosovo-10-18-2017 feature 19 Oct 17 Local Elections Reveal Different Strife in North Kosovo

As local elections in Kosovo draw nearer, the tensions in the Serb-dominated north are very different from the ones that haunted this region in the past.

uncertainties-on-implementation-of-justice-agreement-09-21-2017 news 22 Sep 17 Kosovo Serb Judges Dubious About Integrated Justice System

Weeks before the justice system in Serb-run northern Kosovo is due to be integrated with the justice system in the rest of Kosovo,  Serbian judges in the north say they are still in the dark about how it will work.

kosovo-abandons-bid-to-join-interpol-this-year-09-21-2017 News 21 Sep 17 Kosovo Abandons Bid to Join Interpol This Year

Prime Minister Haradinaj says Kosovo will not get enough votes at this year’s Interpol assembly, held in the unfriendly environment of China.