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UNMIK Headlines 22 May

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Parties don’t heed appeals to ‘clean’ election ballots (Koha Ditore)
PDK and LDK continue to keep their ballots under wraps (Zeri)
Daka: Problems with diaspora voters due to snap elections (Koha Ditore)
Veseli: Elections called because of government’s lack of vision (Zeri)
Kurti presents Vetevendosje’s political programme (dailies)
Haradinaj promises visa liberalisation in three months’ time (Kosova Sot)
Pacolli: With Vetevendosje after elections (Zeri)
“Serbian List would prevent creation of Kosovo’s army” (Lajmi)
Apostolova: Kosovo decides on whether to renegotiate demarcation (RTK)
Thaci travels to Austria to meet President Van der Bellen (RTK)

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Headlines – 22.05.2017

  • Parties don’t heed appeals to ‘clean’ election ballots (Koha Ditore)
  • PDK and LDK continue to keep their ballots under wraps (Zeri)
  • Daka: Problems with diaspora voters due to snap elections (Koha Ditore)
  • Veseli: Elections called because of government’s lack of vision (Zeri)
  • Kurti presents Vetevendosje’s political programme (dailies)
  • Haradinaj promises visa liberalisation in three months’ time (Kosova Sot)
  • Pacolli: With Vetevendosje after elections (Zeri)
  • “Serbian List would prevent creation of Kosovo’s army” (Lajmi)
  • Apostolova: Kosovo decides on whether to renegotiate demarcation (RTK)
  • Thaci travels to Austria to meet President Van der Bellen (RTK) 

Kosovo Media Highlights

Parties don’t heed appeals to ‘clean’ election ballots (Koha Ditore)

Despite repeated calls from civil society and international officials urging political parties to leave out candidates involved in corruption affairs from election ballots, the paper reports on the front page that most of the parties did not heed these calls. Analyst Imer Mushkolaj believes that parties’ inclusion of people affiliated with corruption has been purposely done in order to benefit from them. Meanwhile, Artan Canhasi from the Kosovo Democratic Institute said that lists containing names of people suspected or indicted for corruption is bad news for Kosovo.

PDK and LDK continue to keep their ballots under wraps (Zeri)

The paper reports on the front page that the two major parties – the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) and the Democratic League of Kosovo – are continuing to keep their ballots under wraps although they have already submitted them for certification with the Central Elections Commission (CEC). Whereas PDK and LDK officials claim the names of their candidates running in June elections will be revealed once CEC certifies them, analysts consider that this is done because there is discontent within party membership about who has been left out.

Daka: Problems with diaspora voters due to snap elections (Koha Ditore)

Head of the Central Elections Commission (CEC), Valdete Daka, said that problems with registering Kosovo voters from Diaspora are related to the challenge of organising elections within a short period of time. “It is not our fault elections were announced in 30 days. This is the cost of having snap elections and this cannot be fixed by me or the CEC,” Daka said. At the same time, Vetevendosje has filed a request to the CEC to extend the deadline for registering voters outside of Kosovo, which is set to be discussed today.

Veseli: Elections called because of government’s lack of vision (Zeri)

Leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), Kadri Veseli, said in Mitrovica that the decision to head to early elections was taken because the government of Kosovo lacked vision and that major processes like economic development and European integration were stalling.

Kurti presents Vetevendosje’s political programme (dailies)

Vetevendosje’s candidate for prime minister, Albin Kurti, presented yesterday in Pristina the party’s political programme and candidates for upcoming general elections. Kurti said he plans to undertake three crucial reforms if elected: dissolve the privatization agency and replace it with the so-called sovereign fund of Kosovo which will focus on investment; improvement and increase of profitability of Kosovo’s strategic and leading assets; and establishment of a development agency as well as a development bank.

Haradinaj promises visa liberalisation in three months’ time (Kosova Sot)

Leader of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK), Ramush Haradinaj, said in Prizren that his government would ensure people of Kosovo would get visa liberalisation in three months but maintained that the current version of the border demarcation agreement with Montenegro is “dead”. 

Pacolli: With Vetevendosje after elections (Zeri)

New Kosovo Alliance leader, Behgjet Pacolli, said that he believed that cooperation with Vetevendosje would continue after elections. Pacolli said that his party had frequent meetings with Vetevendosje in the last three months and that they cooperated with them, but that time will tell that the decision to enter a coalition with the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) instead was “justified”. 

“Serbian List would prevent creation of Kosovo’s army” (Lajmi)

Serbia’s outgoing Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vucic, together with several Serbian ministers met  officials of the Serbian List ahead of 11 June elections in Kosovo. After the meeting, they all expressed conviction that only the Serbian List could prevent creation of the army of Kosovo, and assure a better life for Kosovo Serbs. “Serbian List MPs could prevent creation of the army of Kosovo. When you hear candidate for the prime minister Haradinaj say that he wants to come all the way to Nis, then Serbs should not allow such statements for creation of the army,” Aleksandar Vulin, Serbia’s Minister of Social Welfare, said after the meeting. He also said that the Serbian Government would unanimously support this entity on 11 June elections.

Apostolova: Kosovo decides on whether to renegotiate demarcation (RTK)

Head of the EU Office in Kosovo, Nataliya Apostolova, reaffirmed during a lecture at the AAB University that from the two remaining conditions, demarcation and fighting corruption, demarcation is the main condition for liberalization of visas. “I know that some of you think that this is not fair, but I want to reiterate that unfortunately, the enlargement process is not always fair. I come from a small country where we had to make a lot of difficult decisions to become EU members. This is a club where the rules are set by them and we have to fulfill them,” she said. She further justified the EU’s condition saying that there were problems of demarcation of the border with two countries in the past and the EU did not want additional problems with Kosovo and Montenegro. She added that demarcation was very much a technical matter which later became too political. “The report which said that Kosovo does not lose any territory was very clear. According to our point of view, this demarcation is fair and right. But if Kosovo decides to find some other way to resolve this issue, renegotiation with Montenegro, engagement of a new commission to reconsider this matter, to pass on arbitrage or any other way of resolving demarcation, the EU would accept it. We are not the ones that teach you what to do, but the result is important to us. It always depends on you, you decide how to do it,” Apostolova said.

Thaci travels to Austria to meet President Van der Bellen (RTK)

After his visit to Jordan, President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci traveled for an official visit to Austria. Thaci will be meeting with President of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen to discuss further development of bilateral relations. He also intends to express his appreciation for Austria’s continuous support for Kosovo. They will be also discussing the possibility of further cooperation on education, culture, and fields of joint interest. Thaci will be meeting with other Austrian personalities during his visit there.

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