Minister of Administration and Local Government in the Government of Kosovo Adrijana Hodzic expressed concern over the situation that occurred during and after the Kosovo Police action on Tuesday, 28 May, when arrested persons suspected of smuggling, abuse of office and corruption, reports KIM radio, quoting Slobodno Srpski (Free Serbian) show with Hodzic.
“It is really another difficult situation that has hit citizens living in northern Kosovo. I had the opportunity to be in the very center of the city in North Mitrovica that very day, and I could observe people on the streets who were really worried. What is good about the whole story is that the matter did not escalate, and it is good that all political representatives sent messages of peace. They asked that the citizens remain calm, in order to avoid a major catastrophe,” said Hodzic.
Commenting on the recently held local mayoral elections in the four municipalities in the north of Kosovo, she said that these elections were not ordinary local elections as anywhere else in Kosovo, primarily because they were agreed by the 2013 Brussels Agreement, and Belgrade participated in the pre-election and the electoral process from the start.
Asked by the show host why there were no other candidates from the Serbian community, other than those proposed by the Serbian List, Hodzic said that one of the biggest reasons was that after six years from the first local elections in the north, it became clear to everyone that the process of integration of the north into the Kosovo system was difficult and there were simply no people to take the responsibility.
“As far as the level of democracy is concerned, not only in the north, but generally in Kosovo, I really would not want to speak about it because many decisions and many solutions are imposed solutions,” assessed the minister.
Explaining the complexity of the situation in northern Kosovo, Hodzic marked healthcare and education as some of the most complex areas.
“With local elections, Pristina has created a mechanism for integrating the north into the Kosovo system, which means that all segments of the society in the north of Kosovo should integrate into the Kosovo system, as happened with the police and prosecutors, and now the sectors of education and health are now in the line. There are two totally different points of view regarding these two issues when it comes to Belgrade and Pristina, and I think that will be a big challenge,” the minister said.
Adrijana Hodzic, who until recently was the chief executive officer in the municipality of Mitrovica, noted that by 2013 there were no major investments in that municipality, and since then from various Kosovo and international funds invested only for capital investments, about 11 million euro, and as some of the most important investments, she mentioned the construction of a sports hall, a fire station and a bus station.
Hodzic cited as one of the failures, while she was at the head of the municipal administration, “insufficient participation of citizens in public affairs”.