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UNMIK Headlines 16 May

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• U.S. does not want corrupt officials on election lists (Koha)
• Avdullah Hoti believed to be LDK’s candidate for prime minister (dailies)
• Deadline for pre-election coalitions to expire today (Epoka)
• Kosovo has 1.7 million inhabitants and 1.9 million voters (Zeri)
• Alternative may not be able to enter any pre-election coalition (Zeri)
• Yee: Russia is trying to increase its influence in the Balkans (Koha)
• Serbian Minister Vulin threatens with “heads of Albanian children” (Koha)

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Headlines – 16.05.2017

  • U.S. does not want corrupt officials on election lists (Koha)
  • Avdullah Hoti believed to be LDK’s candidate for prime minister (dailies)
  • Deadline for pre-election coalitions to expire today (Epoka)
  • Kosovo has 1.7 million inhabitants and 1.9 million voters (Zeri)
  • Alternative may not be able to enter any pre-election coalition (Zeri)
  • Yee: Russia is trying to increase its influence in the Balkans (Koha)
  • Serbian Minister Vulin threatens with “heads of Albanian children” (Koha)

U.S. does not want corrupt officials on election lists (Koha)

The paper reports on its front page that while political parties in Kosovo have not said if they will include people in election lists that have problems with the law, foreign diplomats in Pristina are saying that officials who are subject to indictments and sentences should not be included in the lists. Michelle Schohn, spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Pristina, told the paper on Monday that they hope that all those stained by corruption will not be included in the lists. “As Ambassador Delawie said in an interview last week, it is very important for all political parties to see who they will include in their lists of candidates and for them to select people that inspire the youth of Kosovo and whose priorities are the best interests of Kosovo and its people,” Schohn said.

Avdullah Hoti believed to be LDK’s candidate for prime minister (dailies)

Outgoing Minister of Finance Avdullah Hoti is being reported to have been chosen by the Democratic League of Kosovo as its candidate for prime minister in upcoming elections. LDK has yet to confirm the news but all media quote sources as saying that Hoti has been selected to run for the post.

Deadline for pre-election coalitions to expire today (Epoka)

No coalition among the major political parties or the smaller ones has become official yet, although the deadline for registration at the Central Election Commission is tonight (Tuesday) at 24:00 hours, the paper reports. Several meetings took place on Monday between officials of the political parties. The Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) appears that it is going to keep its allies, the Movement for Unification (LB), Party of Justice (PD) and Liberal Party of Kosovo (PLK). The Democratic League on the other hand is discussing eventual coalition with Alternative and the Alliance for New Kosovo (AKR).  The Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) and the Initiative for Kosovo (NISMA), will be competing together on the 11 June elections, while Vetevendosje is expected to compete on its own.

Kosovo has 1.7 million inhabitants and 1.9 million voters (Zeri)

The paper on the front page reports that according to figures from the Central Elections Commission (CEC), there are 1.9 million registered voters in Kosovo but officially Kosovo has only 1.7 million inhabitants. This “inflated” number of voters, according to the paper, is due to the fact that the voters’ lists have not been updated since 1999 which has provided space in the past vote fraud. However, head of CEC Valdete Daka, told the paper that the lists have been updated and that the figure also includes Kosovo residents living abroad. Vetevendosje’s Mytaher Haskuka said that based on the number of inhabitants and on the number of those under 18 still ineligible to vote, Kosovo should have no more than 1.2 million voters.

Alternative may not be able to enter any pre-election coalition (Zeri)

The newly-formed Alternative, founded by Mimoza Kusari-Lila and Ilir Deda, may not be able to join any pre-election coalition with other parties as it has not yet been registered with the CEC, sources said. The only option for the party, the sources added, is to be included in the list of candidates of some other party. Officials from the Alternative did not comment on the matter.

Yee: Russia is trying to increase its influence in the Balkans (Koha)

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Hoyt Brian Yee, who is visiting Tirana, Albania, said on Monday that Russia has been trying to prevent the Western Balkans from joining NATO and the European Union. According to Yee, Russia would prefer to see the Balkans closer to Russia, or at least with a neutral position, so that it can have a maximal influence in the region. “No third country should have the right of veto on whether Albania should join the European Union, or if Montenegro should join NATO, or if Bosnia and Herzegovina should join the EU or NATO,” Yee said.

Serbian Minister Vulin threatens with “heads of Albanian children” (Koha)

Koha reports that Aleksandar Vulin, Minister for Labor in the Serbian Government, threatened Kosovo Albanians with the heads of their children as he was commenting on recent statements by AAK leader Ramush Haradinaj. “Albanians must understand that we are now living in different times and that the wars that Haradinaj wants to start will not be fought by the whole world, but they [Albanians] will have to fight alone … Albanians must see how many heads of children they have to throw away,” Vulin was quoted as saying.

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