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Vesti: Serbian knockout in the Kosovo ring – local elections

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In a series of articles titled ”Serbian knockout in the Kosovo ring”, the news portal Vesti in the third article talks with Editor of the KoSSev portal Tatjana Lazarević.

Vesti reports that, for example, the site of portal KoSSev was hacked after broadcasting the first interview in the campaign with Dr Dragiša Milović, candidate for mayor of Zvečan. Editor of this portal, Tatjana Lazarević, told Vesti that she cannot surely assert that the interview was the reason for the site’s collapse, as she cannot determine who stands behind it because it is an extremely strong, sophisticated and costly hacking attack that came from dozens thousands of computer addresses outside the country. In the end, she has only doubts, reports Vesti.

The portal KoSSev.info constantly reports on the events in the north of Kosovo, and information about political pressures and influence on the will of the voters Tatjana Lazarević and her colleagues learned about during field work and interviews with fellow citizens, Vesti reports.

– We reported on alleged pressures on their workplaces, primarily of those working in the institutions of the state of Serbia, and are candidates on the opposition lists, members of their families and sympathizers. Some candidates withdrew candidatures from opposition lists, with an identical written press release and on the eve of the verification of the electoral rolls, so this is “proudly” presented to the public. It sounds spooky, rude and frivolous when in identical texts by which they withdrawn candidacy, a conscious and defined political persona,  who should be presenting others, “acknowledges” that it was “misled” and that actually supports until then the rival list – emphasizes the editor of KoSSev portal for Vesti.

She also reminds of reports on burned cars of opposition candidates who claimed that it has been done deliberately. Both they and the public perceive it as direct pressure, but without the reaction of the police and the court, there is no confirmation of such doubts, Vesti reports.

– There is, finally, a direct invitation of Marko Đurić, the first man in the government of Serbia in charge of the Kosovo-Metohija issue, for the Serbs to vote in the local elections for one among the dozens of Serb parties that participate in the elections. Otherwise, he says, they will vote for the break of ties with their country. It is a direct pressure that anyone who does not vote for the party risks of being labelled as “traitor”. I would like to emphasize in particular that the Serbs from Kosovo and Metohija, without prejudice to the national sentiments of other Serbs, are particularly emotionally linked to Serbia as their country and its motherland. It is embarrassing to risk any kind of abuse of emotions and problems of Kosovo Serbs and it is equally dangerous to divide us on the most brilliant, vicious Serbs and a patriotic mistake of the nature, how in the public opinion could be understood messages of the parties of the holders of state functions – says interlocutor of Vesti.

The pre-election process for local elections in Kosovo began on September 21st.  Many citizens have complained to KoSSev portal about the pressures they are exposed to, most of which are simply impossible to prove, but there were and many false news, Vesti writes on its website.

Lazarević emphasizes to Vesti that her responsibility as well as her fellow journalists is that they do not publish unsubstantiated news, no matter how exclusive. She also states that concentration and ethics must be 100% all the time to precisely separate information from false news, as she says, they have no right to error.


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