- Daka: OSCE will not have executive role in May 19 elections (RTK1)
- Draft Resolution on Serb crimes in Kosovo – late and political (KTV & Klan Kosova)
- Minister Mustafa announces reciprocity measures to Serbia (RTK1)
- Import from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina declined from 1 million to 8,000 million euro a day (KTV)
Daka: OSCE will not have executive role in May 19 elections
The Central Election Commission (CEC) chairperson Valdete Daka said that the OSCE would not have an executive role in the May 19 partial local elections.
In an interview with RTV Dukagjini Përballje show, Daka said that so far, preparations for the elections in north has happened as planned and there has not been any issue, having in mind the sensitive situation in that Kosovo area.
Daka said that initially CEC did not certify members of Srpska Lista, because the majority of 2/3 CEC members was absent.
“Out of eleven CEC members, it was required to have eight votes, and they were not present. It should be pointed out that CEC members of Vetëvendosje did not vote in favour of certification of those candidates [of Srpska Lista], by explaining their reasons for this decision. The other CEC members said that those candidates had met the requirements for certification,” she said.
Daka stated that following the complaint of Srpska Lista at the Election Complaints and Appeals Panel (ECAP) and the ECAP decision, CEC had no other alternative but to certify those candidates.
Daka said that CEC has its staff members also in those problematic municipalities in Kosovo, and that they report to CEC.
“So far, CEC officers in northern municipalities have not stated that they have been subject to any pressure. If that would be the case, they should have reported it to security authorities. So far, they have not reported any pressure to me,” Daka said, Telegrafi reported.
Daka said that CEC has a memorandum of understanding with security authorities in Kosovo, and it coordinates both pre-election and post-election operations with them.
“On the Election Day, besides Kosovo Police, EULEX and UNMIK are in charge of security, but we have cooperation with the OSCE, as well,” Daka explained.
She added that the cooperation with the OSCE was technical only, and that the OSCE Mission has no other role.
“The OSCE Mission has not had any executive role in elections since 2008. Especially in the 2013 and 2017 elections, the OSCE had an advisory role… We have our officers also in that Kosovo area, but they might not have the same experience as those in the rest of Kosovo, and that is where the OSCE advice comes into play,” Valdete Daka concluded.
Draft Resolution on Serb crimes in Kosovo – late and political
(KTV & Klan Kosova)
Two decades after the war, the Kosovo Assembly has taken the initiative for establishment of a tribunal for crimes that Serbia committed during the war in Kosovo.
The Assembly Speaker Kadri Veseli said that such a tribunal was necessary.
Veseli’s initiative has been supported by relatives of war victims and martyrs.
Although they believe that establishment of the tribunal is late, they expect that perpetrators will receive their deserved punishment, and that the initiative will be completed.
However, MP Saranda Bogujevci has a different opinion. She said that first of all, the Kosovo institutions should do their job.
Meanwhile, The Assembly Speaker has announced establishment of a state committee, which will work in collecting evidence and drafting a work plan for the tribunal.
On the other hand, Ehat Miftaraj of the Kosovo Law Institute (KLI) BELIEVES THAT THE whole process is a political game.
He stated to Koha.net that the NATO intervention in 1999 happened exactly to stop Serbian crimes in Kosovo, and consequently, it is not necessary to prove to the international community that crimes were committed in Kosovo.
According to him, political representatives in Kosovo are constitutionally, legally, and morally obliged to do justice in the war crime cases, by investigating, prosecuting, and trying all those who committed war crimes in Kosovo.
He added that for 20 years, Kosovo institutions have tried and punished crimes with or taskforces, but the work has not been accomplished, and as a result, full amnesty has been granted to criminals.
“Unfortunately, for 20 years, political officials have investigated, tried, and punished war crimes with working groups, ad-hoc committees, with resolutions, political statements, but in practice they have neglected to fulfil their mandate, thus providing full amnesty to criminals and to the Serbian state,” he said.
But LDK MP Armend Zemaj, a member of the ad-hoc Committee for Recognition of Serb genocide in Kosovo, said he hoped that the Resolution would reach the political and legal effect, in order for the Serbian crimes in Kosovo to be recognised.
In a response to Koha.net, he said that LDK has supported the initiative, and they are coming with their proposals.
The Draft Resolution says that Serbia shall admit to have committed genocide during the period 1998-1999 in Kosovo, to collaborate for punishing criminals, and to repair the damage caused by the genocide.
On the other hand, special prosecutor Drita Hajdari about four months ago has launched investigations on the massacre of Reçak, one of the biggest massacres committed in Kosovo.
Hajdari says that she is at the evidence collection stage in the field, emphasising that the fact that so many years have passed by, will make the work harder.
Ramë Shabani, one of the four survivors in Reçak, believes that the investigation is happening extremely late, highlighting that he will not be able to identify any of the Serbs who committed the massacre 20 years ago.
Many other relatives, despite considering that investigations as taking place late, expect justice about this massacre.
But special prosecutor is facing another obstacle in dealing with war crime cases. Hajdari says that the obstacle to interview the war crime suspects has made it impossible for the Prosecution Office to press charges.
Klan Kosova quoted Bekim Blakaj of the Humanitarian Law Centre (HLC) to have expressed his belief that Veseli’s initiative for establishment of a tribunal will not be supported by the international community or by the EU in particular.
Minister Mustafa announces reciprocity measures to Serbia
Serbia does not recognise Kosovo driving licenses; therefore, the Kosovo Minister of Interior Affairs Ekrem Mustafa announced that he would request reciprocity.
Talking to Express, Mustafa announced reciprocity measures.
“I am aware of it, and that is an initiative of the Serbian state, as a continuation of not recognising documents of the state of Kosovo. At the Government meeting tomorrow (Tuesday), I am going to address this issue, and I will ask for the Government to take reciprocity measures, from not recognising vehicle number plates up to all other documents that Serbia does not recognise ours,” Mustafa said.
Import from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina declined from 1 million to 8,000 euro a day
In order to avoid the 100 percent tariff, there have been a lot of efforts to illegally get into Kosovo goods of Serbian origin through the north.
Since this protective measure was imposed about six months ago, the Customs has identified about 230 smuggling cases, 70 of them only from the northern area.
Customs officers say that differently from the time before imposition of the tariff, when the Kosovo Customs recorded millions of revenues of Serbian products in Kosovo, during this period the import from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina has been under the possible minimum.
According to Kosovo Customs spokesperson Adriatik Stavileci, the value of goods that enter Kosovo from those two countries is estimated to about 7,000 to 8,000 euro a day, whereas before the 100 percent tariff it was over one million euro.
On the other hand, 6th May was the last day of the ultimatum that the Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic had given to the Kosovo Government for revoking the tariff.
Vucic had said that if that does not happen, measures would be taken against Kosovo.
But the Government spokesperson Donjeta Gashi said that this Serbian state theory failed at the Berlin summit, and she was reluctant to speak more about this issue.
On the other hand, Haki Shatri, advisor to the Prime Minister, said that Serbia could not give any ultimatum to Kosovo.
Anyway. Imposing the tariff on Serbian and Bosnia and Herzegovina goods has helped Kosovo businesses to better sell their products.