President of the Ethnic Relations Forum, Dusan Janjic says that the decision to call the elections for the presidents of the four municipalities in northern Kosovo is a deliberate political move based on the Kosovo election law, and at this moment it is difficult to predict how things will develop.
Janjic told Belgrade based news agency Beta that the first possibility is that this is part of a wider campaign of which Belgrade is notified and coordinated by US administration.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic will now have to decide whether to call for the boycott of those elections.
Janjic believes that there will be no call to boycott, as it would “turn all the criticism of the international community towards Serbia and Serbs as those who broke the Brussels agreement, and the agreement envisages participation in the institutions of Kosovo.”
Janjic believes that until May one should not expect the official announcement of Serbia about these elections and adds that hat it is quite certain that Belgrade will hide its next moves as long as possible.
“This is the moment in which Kosovo authorities can say they are able to ensure the implementation and compliance with Kosovo laws throughout the entire territory of Kosovo, and then to abolish taxes on goods from Serbia and BiH. In the event of such a sequence of moves, conditions would be created to continue preparations for the revival of dialogue, which would be good for all, for the international community, for Pristina and for Belgrade,” assesses Janjic.
According to Janjic, the other options are to delay the entire process and postpone elections, which could entail additional instability and nervousness among the Serbs in the north of Kosovo.
“In any case, we should wait for the next move by both parties and see if it is possible to happen what Maja Gojkovic has said, that is, to continue the dialogue with all the tensions,” says Janjic.
The third option is more severe aggravation of the situation, with the risk of tension and conflict, and Janjic believes that such a solution is the least likely and says that at this moment he does not see the interest of Belgrade or Pristina for the escalation, which would imply conflicts.
“The fact is that gradual radicalization can lead to incidents, but at this moment I do not see Belgrade and Pristina’s interest in something like that,” he says.