Thursday, December 2, 2021

Kosovo in runoff to local elections

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Kosovo is holding local elections in nearly two-thirds of the country on Sunday after center-right opposition parties dominated the first round.

Around 1.26 million voters in the small Balkan nation will be entitled to vote in the second round of mayoral elections in 21 of 38 municipalities on Sunday. The turnout in the first round was 43.5%, a little less than four years ago.

The vote was peaceful.

The ruling left self-determination party Vetevendosje! by Prime Minister Albin Kurti has not yet won a mayor’s post, but is ahead in the capital Pristina, where she has nominated her former Health Minister Arben Vitia.

The center-right opposition Democratic Party of Kosovo Former Independence Fighters, the Democratic League of Kosovo and the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo have won eight mayoral seats and are strong contenders for more.

The Srpska List party of the ethnic Serb minority in Kosovo, which is close to the Serbian government in Belgrade, has won nine out of ten seats in the communities populated by this minority in northern Kosovo.

Dukagjin Gorani, an independent analyst, said a landslide loss by the ruling party could have a negative impact on the “overall legitimacy of both the political party and the government.”

“You could also expect early parliamentary elections, sometimes next year,” added Gorani.

A team from the European Union monitors the surveys.

Kosovo, which consists of a majority of Albanians, declared its independence from Serbia in 2008. Serbia did not recognize the move.

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