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UNMIK Headlines, Election Media Updates, Afternoon Edition, October 6, 2019

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Albanian language media:

CEC: Higher voter turnout by 11.00hrs compared to 2017 elections
CEC: All polling stations open (media)
Polling stations in northern Kosovo open on time (RTK)
ValdeteDaka votes, here is her message (media)
Thaci appeals for a fair and free electoral process (media)
Veseli: Vote, give perspective to the future (media)
Osmani: This is the determinant day for the future of Kosovo (media)
Kurti calls on people to go out and vote (media)
Haradinaj: If you do not vote, others vote for you (media)
Pacolli: Do not abuse citizen’s vote (media)
Kosnett: Vote for yourselves, your country, your future (RTK)
Abbott: I encourage all eligible voters to vote (RTK)
LDK calls on Kosovo people to vote (media)
DiK: There is delay in opening of some polling stations (media)
State Prosecutor in defense of the vote (RTK)
Rakic votes with Kosovo ID (RTK)
Two officials arrested in the North for abusing their duty during elections (Klan Kosova)

  Serbian Language Media:

CEC: Suspended voting in Gotovusa over “escorts” (KoSsev, N1)
Three special units of Kosovo Police arrived to North Mitrovica (KoSSev, N1, Beta)
Radakovic: Two members of polling station committee were apprehended due to voting with Kosovo “Extract of birth” (KoSSev)
OSCE: There were attempts to vote with Serbian ID cards (KoSSev)
Kosnett visited polling stations in Pristina and Gracanica (Kosovo online, RTK2)
Djuric:Today’s elections are a turning point for the survival of Serbs in Kosovo (RTV)  
IDPs travel in organized manner to vote in Kosovo elections (B92, Kosovo online)
Large number of citizens were gathered at the centre of North Mitrovica to go to the polls(Kosovo Online) 
KTV: In northern Kosovo voting is allowed only with Kosovo documents(KoSSev) 
Goran Rakic:Elections decisive for the fate of Serbian people (SrpskiTelegraf)  
All polling stations opened on time, except Strpce (KIM radio, Herz)
TV Prva learns that Serbs in Metohija have problems with voting (B92)  
Two arrested in Mitrovica north (RTS) 
Irregularities in Gotovusa and Gracanica (KIM radio) 
After more than two hours, TV Pink crew crossedJarinje (TV Most)  
Letter of the Director of Radio Belgrade regarding the detention of journalists in Kosovo (RTS) 
Journalists’ Association of Serbia and its branch in Kosovo: Kosovo institutions grossly violate the freedom of media(Serbian media, uns.org)

International Media:

Kosovo voters focus on graft, Serbia peace deal in election (Reuters)
Kosovo: What you need to know about the country’s snap elections (Euronews)
‘Towel’ flag, judo and pop royalty: five things to know about Kosovo (AFP, France 24)
Kosovo votes amid pressure to reboot Serbia talks (AFP)
Kosovo votes for parliament amid calls for talks with Serbia (DW)
Kosovo Prepares to Elect New Parliament (Balkan Insight)

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Albanian language media:

  • CEC: Higher voter turnout by 11.00hrs compared to 2017 elections
  • CEC: All polling stations open (media)
  • Polling stations in northern Kosovo open on time (RTK)
  • ValdeteDaka votes, here is her message (media)
  • Thaci appeals for a fair and free electoral process (media)
  • Veseli: Vote, give perspective to the future (media)
  • Osmani: This is the determinant day for the future of Kosovo (media)
  • Kurti calls on people to go out and vote (media)
  • Haradinaj: If you do not vote, others vote for you (media)
  • Pacolli: Do not abuse citizen’s vote (media)
  • Kosnett: Vote for yourselves, your country, your future (RTK)
  • Abbott: I encourage all eligible voters to vote (RTK)
  • LDK calls on Kosovo people to vote (media)
  • DiK: There is delay in opening of some polling stations (media)
  • State Prosecutor in defense of the vote (RTK)
  • Rakic votes with Kosovo ID (RTK)
  • Two officials arrested in the North for abusing their duty during elections (Klan Kosova)

  Serbian Language Media:

  • CEC: Suspended voting in Gotovusa over “escorts” (KoSsev, N1)
  • Three special units of Kosovo Police arrived to North Mitrovica (KoSSev, N1, Beta)
  • Radakovic: Two members of polling station committee were apprehended due to voting with Kosovo “Extract of birth” (KoSSev)
  • OSCE: There were attempts to vote with Serbian ID cards (KoSSev)
  • Kosnett visited polling stations in Pristina and Gracanica (Kosovo online, RTK2)
  • Djuric:Today’s elections are a turning point for the survival of Serbs in Kosovo (RTV
  • IDPs travel in organized manner to vote in Kosovo elections (B92, Kosovo online)
  • Large number of citizens were gathered at the centre of North Mitrovica to go to the polls(Kosovo Online)
  • KTV: In northern Kosovo voting is allowed only with Kosovo documents(KoSSev)
  • Goran Rakic:Elections decisive for the fate of Serbian people (SrpskiTelegraf
  • All polling stations opened on time, except Strpce (KIM radio, Herz)
  • TV Prva learns that Serbs in Metohija have problems with voting (B92)  
  • Two arrested in Mitrovica north (RTS
  • Irregularities in Gotovusa and Gracanica (KIM radio
  • After more than two hours, TV Pink crew crossedJarinje (TV Most
  • Letter of the Director of Radio Belgrade regarding the detention of journalists in Kosovo (RTS
  • Journalists’ Association of Serbia and its branch in Kosovo: Kosovo institutions grossly violate the freedom of media(Serbian media, uns.org)

International Media:

  • Kosovo voters focus on graft, Serbia peace deal in election (Reuters)
  • Kosovo: What you need to know about the country’s snap elections (Euronews)
  • ‘Towel’ flag, judo and pop royalty: five things to know about Kosovo (AFP, France 24)
  • Kosovo votes amid pressure to reboot Serbia talks (AFP)
  • Kosovo votes for parliament amid calls for talks with Serbia (DW)
  • Kosovo Prepares to Elect New Parliament (Balkan Insight)

Albanian Language media:

CEC: Higher voter turnout by 11.00hrs compared to 2017 elections

The Central Election Commission said in its secondElection Day press conference that the voter turnout by 11.00hrs was at 9.64 percent, which is higher than that of 2017 when 8.45 percent of people had voted by the same time.

Head of CEC, ValdeteDaka, said the voting process was going well. “Apart from several isolated incidents, according to the information from the operational room, the voting process is going well,” Daka said.

She added: “Based on the information we have from 94 percent of polling stations, the number of citizens with the right to vote reached 174,669 or 9.64 percent by 11 o’clock.”

CEC: All polling stations open (media)

Central Election Commission (CEC) spokesman ValmirElezi announced at its first Election Day press conference that all polling stations were opened on time, except for some that were delayed for a few minutes.

“The final list of voters for the October 6 elections contains 1 million 872 thousand 941 voters. The Central Election Commission invites voters to exercise their right to vote,”Elezi said.

The CEC will hold four more press conferences during the day, at 11:30 am to announce the voting turnout and the progress of the electoral process, at 3:30 pm regarding the turnout and the progress of the electoral process, while at 7:30 pm CEC holds its fourth media conference of the day, where it will announce the closure of polling stations and voting.

Polling stations in northern Kosovo open on time (RTK)

Polling stations in the Mitrovica north opened at 07:00 hours and a small number of citizens are noticed to have come out to vote on these early elections. So far, they have used Kosovo identification documents.

Polling stations at the other three northern municipalities, Zvecan, Leposavic and Zubin Potok, also opened in time and everything id flowing asforeseen without any irregularity.

22457 voters have their legitimate right to vote at seven polling centers in Mitrovica North, 17993 in Leposavic, 9209 in Zvecan, and 8522 in Zubin Potok.

ValdeteDaka votes, here is her message (media)

Central Election Commission Chairperson Valdete Daka fulfilled her obligation at the polling station at the Technical Faculty in Pristina, officially opening polling stations for parliamentary elections.

On this occasion, Daka called on the people of Kosovo as well as leaders and political parties to fulfill this obligation in order to bring a good image for Kosovo.

“After completing my civic duty I invite all citizens, I invite all political entities and commissioners to be careful today and since the process is now in their hands, keep in mind that everything that happens today, is billed to Kosovo and not to them. So, let us tell everyone that we have a high democratic culture, that we know how to vote and that we love our state,” Daka said.

Thaci appeals for a fair and free electoral process (media)

The President of Kosovo HashimThaci has invited the people to massively participate in today’s  elections.

“Today Kosovo elects the new legislature, which will also form the new government of Kosovo, which should improve the lives of our citizens and face the challenges that lie ahead. Therefore, I call for greater participation, for a fair, free and just electoral process. We have built a tradition of good elections and accepted by all. Let Kosovo win today,” Thaci wrote.

Veseli: Vote, give perspective to the future (media)

Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) candidate for prime minister of Kosovo, Kadri Veseli voted at the “Faik Konica” school in Pristina.

On this occasion, he said that through these elections they should give western perspective to the future and Kosovo.

Veseli, who was accompanied by his wife after casting his vote, told the media that this is an extraordinary day for Kosovo.

“Today is a good, extraordinary day for our sacred Kosovo. I congratulate all the citizens of my country, let us give perspective to ourselves, our western Kosovo. We give perspective to our future the most,” Veseli said.

Osmani: This is the determinant day for the future of Kosovo (media)

The Democratic League of Kosovo’s candidate for prime minister, Vjosa Osmani, along with her husband, Prindon Sadriu, voted today at the Technical Faculty in Pristina.

Osmani said she hopes that everything will go well and that the people will express their will through voting. According to her, Kosovo today will have reason to celebrate.

“My call is for all citizens to become part of this historic decision, because it is a historic and crucial day for the future of Kosovo. I believe that through a fair and democratic process Kosovo has reason to celebrate,” Osmani said.

Kurti calls on people to go out and vote (media)

Vetevendosje Movement’s candidate for the prime minister Albin Kurti, voted today, saying this is a special day for Kosovo.

“Today is a very special day, the people, as source of sovereignty of our republic, respond to all the questions of all parties in the campaign.”

“Today, it does not matter if you are rich, poor, woman, man, young, old, coming from a village or a city, if have completed higher studies or not, we are all equal, the political system is open to all and equally,” he added.

“Therefore I urge all citizens with the right to vote to use this unique chance in character. I wish you free voting and a pleasant day for all citizens”, Kurti said.

Haradinaj: If you do not vote, others vote for you (media)

RamushHaradinaj, candidate for prime minister from the AAK-PSD coalition, along with his wife, Anita, voted at the medical high school “Dr. Ali Sokoli”in Pristina.

Haradinaj urged the people to go to the polls and added that only those who vote decide for their fate, while for the others who do not vote, the others decide for them.

“Anita and I both exercised our right to vote. Only by vote do we decide, if you do not vote others vote for you. Therefore, I urge all citizens to come out and vote regardless of their political convictions,” Haradinaj said.

Pacolli: Do not abuse citizen’s vote (media)

The leader of the New Kosovo Alliance (AKR), Behgjet Pacolli, said that he expects the Election Day to flow as good as it can, so no vote of a citizen is abused.

“Today I would very much like to see the elections go as well as possible, that there is not abuse of vote anywhere. I hope it will be so, I very much hope that awareness is at a much higher level and we will carry out this challenge with dedication, honor and sincerity,” he said.

Kosnett: Vote for yourselves, your country, your future (RTK)

The U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo Philip Kosnett, conveyed his message to Kosovo people on the Election Day on social media.

“Good morning Kosovo voters! Today’s the day to get out and vote. Your vote matters – vote for yourselves, your country, your future!  Kosovo is your home.

In Kosovo as in America, every vote counts.  Every voice matters.  Whatever your views, whomever you support – on October 6, turn out and vote. For yourself, for your country, for your future,” Kosnett wrote.

Abbott: I encourage all eligible voters to vote (RTK)

The Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Kosovo Nicholas Abbott, said his country supports no political party or candidate.

“I have gone out of Pristina today, and this is a good opportunity for me to talk to people about freedom of expression. The best example of this is your freedom to choose the leadership of Kosovo.

The United Kingdom supports no political party or candidate; it supports you and your right to vote freely and without intimidation.

It is easy to be skeptical or cynical. To think that your vote doesn’t matter or will make no difference. This is not the case – because in any democracy the act of voting, of taking part, of choosing or changing who leads you, matters as well.”

The British Ambassador encouraged all eligible voters to vote with hope and courage.

LDK calls on Kosovo people to vote (media)

On the Election Day, the Democratic League of Kosovo has called on all the people of Kosovo to go out and vote.

LDK representative Doruntina Maloku expressed her joy at a press conference in the early hours of this morning, that the voting process started well with the opening of all polling centers.

She expressed her gratitude for the readiness of the relevant institutions and the justice to engage in this electoral process.

DiK: There is delay in opening of some polling stations (media)

Ismet Kryeziu, director of the Democratic Institute of Kosovo (DiK), said at a press conference that election day started with delays in the opening of 2.6 per cent of polling stations, while at a polling station in Prizren the voting process has not started yet due to the absence of a commissioner.

On the other hand, in some polling stations there are still materials with propaganda content.

Kryeziu, said that the Central Election Commission is doing its job to replace the missing commissioner at the Ukshin Hoti Center polling station in Prizren.

Although electoral silence began 24 hours ago, he said some polling stations still have propaganda-related material on political entities, adding that 30 percent of polling stations had no access for people with disabilities.

Kryeziu said that of all commissioners at the Kosovo wide, there is 35 per cent female participation in the commissions, which, according to him, is a positive move compared to the 2017 elections when this turnout was 29 per cent.

He called on the people to go out and vote, to use their right to become part of decision-making.

State Prosecutor in defense of the vote (RTK)

Kosovo’s State Prosecutor has announced that they are closely following the electoral process that is being held today in Kosovo.

“As of seven o’clock in the morning today, about 100 prosecutors and support staff are engaged, to closely monitor the progress of the electoral process and they are ready to respond in any case of obstruction of the voting process is.”

“The State Prosecutor, in order to prevent any irregularities related to the right to vote, invites citizens, media and civil society to cooperate and report to the Police and Prosecutor’s Office all allegations of vote abuse”, reads the Prosecutor’s announcement.

Rakic votes with Kosovo ID (RTK)

The leader of the Serbian List, and Mitrovica North mayor Goran Rakic, accompanied by over 100 people, voted today at around 08:00 hours, in the early parliamentary elections of Kosovo.

He voted with the Kosovo ID card at the “Mihajlo Petrovic – Alas” polling station in northern Mitrovica.

“These elections are crucial for the Serb people and their position in Kosovo,” Rakic told reporters.

Two officials arrested in the North  for abusing their duty during elections (Klan Kosova)

The State Prosecutor informs the opinion that by order of the prosecutor, two individuals were arrested in Mitrovica North, suspected of committing the criminal act of “Abuse of official duty during elections.”

National Election Coordinator Laura Pula, in coordination with the Chief Prosecutor of Mitrovica Basic Prosecution, Shyqyri Syla, after receiving information that voting in contradiction with CEC rules was allowed by two commissioners, (polling station chairperson and official for identification at polling station 3805B / 12D, school “Sveti Sava”, north Mitrovica), all necessary actions were taken by detaining suspects and conducting procedural verification.

Serbian Language media:

CEC: Suspended voting in Gotovusa over “escorts” (KoSsev, N1)

At the polling station in Gotovosa, Strpce municipality, voting was suspended because one companion was provided for each voter, CEC confirmed to RTK2, quotes portal KoSSev. There have also been several such attempts in Gracanica.

Three special units of Kosovo Police arrived to North Mitrovica (KoSSev, N1, Beta)

KoSSevquotes Pristina based news agency Kallxo and its reporter Behar Mustafa who reported that three units of Kosovo special police have arrived to North Mitrovica Police Station where they are stationed for now.

Radakovic: Two members of polling station committee were apprehended due to voting with Kosovo “Extract of birth” (KoSSev)

Two members of the election commission were apprehended at the polling centre in Sveti Sava primary school-Democracy in Action confirmed to portal KoSSev.

“In the classroom in which 12 B polling station is located in Sveti Sava primary school, a person came to vote with the Extract (birth registry certificate in Kosovo). The entire polling station committee allowed that person to vote, everyone signed and agreed that she could vote. However, according to informal information, LDK observers reported this directly to the Central Election Commission and CEC called the prosecution and police ex officio and thus U.Z. and T.V. were arrested and placed under 24-hour detention. Now they have to make a statement before the competent judge who will decide on further measures” DusanRadakovic, Regional coordinator of Democracy in Action (DnD) for northern Kosovo confirmed to KoSSev.

OSCE: There were attempts to vote with Serbian ID cards (KoSSev)

Senad Sabovic, OSCE Spokesperson confirmed to KoSSev that there were attempts to vote with UNMIK and Serbian documents.

“There have been sporadic attempts here and there, but the committees are following the CEC decisions. Since this morning, everything was respected/observed,” Sabovic said.

According to OSCE information, Kosovo media allegations of incidents within polling boards related to voting with Serbian documents have not been confirmed.

“There are no confirmations related to that, but I believe that nothing significant happened, no physical fight, and I have no confirmation of any discussion between the members of the polling station committees. The process is running smoothly,” Sabovic told KoSSev.

Kosnett visited polling stations in Pristina and Gracanica (Kosovo online, RTK2)

US Ambassador to Kosovo Philip Kosnett visited Gracanica’s polling stations to make sure the electoral process runs regularly, and in the morning, he visited polling stations in Pristina, RTK reports.

Kosnett urged citizens to use their civic right and go out to vote.

Djuric: Today’s elections are a turning point for the survival of Serbs in Kosovo (RTV)

“Today is one of the important, if not the turning points, in our fight for Kosovo and Metohija and the preservation of Serbia and Serbian interests in the southern province,” said Director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija Marko Djuric today.

He stressed that this is why these elections serve to certain politicians from Pristina as well as some separatist leaders to realize the plan for Serbia to be completely pushed out of Kosovo.

Djuric told TV Pink that it was the desire of those individual politicians that the Serbs would not vote today, and through intimidation of Serbs and pressures, suppress the Serbian List and place people loyal to Pristina in seats reserved for Serbs in the provincial parliament.

Djuric urged all who feel Serbia to be their state, both Serbs and Muslims, Ashkali, Bosniaks, Gorani, Roma, to support the Serbian List.

“This is the only guarantee that we will preserve our institutions, our education, health care …, that we will preserve the institutional influence and presence of Serbia and Serbs in provincial institutions in Kosovo,” Djuric said.

He also stated that turnout in the first hour is slightly bigger in the north compared to the May 2019 elections, adding that it is important to maintain that dynamic, as only a large turnout can preserve institutionally the Serbia in Kosovo.

IDPs travel in organized manner to vote in Kosovo elections (B92, Kosovo online) 

Last night, about an hour after midnight, internally displaced persons departed Belgrade to Kosovo, in order to exercise their vote in the early parliamentary elections taking place today, reports Kosovo online portal.

IDPs point out that were going to vote to help the survival of the Serb people and called for unity and en masse turnout.

Marina Djuric, a displaced person from Pristina, says that that was the least she could do.

LjubisaTasic, a displaced person from KosovskaKamenica, believes it is his patriotic duty to vote.

”Our ancestors have lived there for centuries,” Tasic said, pointing out that he is struck by position of his countrymen, who, he points out, live in difficult conditions, and that he expects that he will contribute with his voice to improve their lives.

RTS reports that due to more rigorous controls at the Jarinje crossing this morning average time for entering Kosovo is about 15 to 20 minutes. As RTS reports, thus far no one was turned back from the crossing.

Large number of citizens were gathered at the centre of North Mitrovica to go to the polls (Kosovo Online) 

According to the local media, citizens of North Mitrovica complied with the appeal of the state of Serbia and at 7:30 they gathered in large numbers in centre of North Mitrovica, in front of the monument to Prince Lazar.

From there, led by the president of Serbian List, Goran Rakic and President of IMC Aleksandar Spiric, and the Serbian List candidates for MPs from this city went to Technical High School, where they performed their civic duty.

KTV: In northern Kosovo voting is allowed only with Kosovo documents (KoSSev)

KoSSev portal cites KTV media report, in which it was pointed out that despite of the earlier information published by Gazeta express on the alleged argument between MECs regarding the voting with Serbian documents, citizens are prohibited from using Serbian documents and UNMIK ID card. KTV also published that one of the members of the polling committees refuted that there was a clash this morning and added that only Kosovo documents are valid for voting.

Goran Rakic: Elections decisive for the fate of Serbian people (SrpskiTelegraf

“When Serbia calls, you see what it looks like in KosovskaMitrovica, from early dawn this morning voters went to the polls to cast their vote for the List they trust,” Rakic told reporters.

The President of Serbian List Goran Rakic addressed the journalists after voting in North Mitrovica today. On that occasion he stressed that these elections in Kosovo are crucial for the future of Serbian people in Kosovo, and that it is therefore necessary for the list to win all 10 seats in the Kosovo Assembly.

He said that it is very important to have as many Serbs as possible go to the polls and to show everyone who are threatening and blackmailing that nothing will scare them, and nothing will sway them from staying and survive in the area.

“These elections are decisive for a number of reasons”, Rakic ​​said, citing some of them and saying that all political parties in Pristina began their campaign in South Mitrovica, and their slogan was “united Mitrovica”.

“We who live here know perfectly well what that means – no Serbs live in South Mitrovica and that unification means banishment of Serbian people from the area,” Rakic said.

 He said the elections are also important for Serbs south of Ibar, who live in more difficult conditions than Serbs in the north of the province.

“They live much harder than we do in the north and they depend on their state of Serbia, because the state of Serbia provides about 40,000 salaries for these people. If the Serbian List fails to win all 10 seats, there may be a massive expulsion of the Serbian people south of Ibar,” Rakic said.

Asked if he expects any fraud in the elections, Rakic ​​said he believes that OSCE, if it is observing the election process today, would prevent any fraud.

“However, nothing is sacred to them and I do not trust them at all, so I expect that they will try to commit certain frauds, that is, to use invalid ballots and redirect them to parties coming from Pristina,” Rakic ​​said.

According to him, the level of turnout and winning all 10 seats for the Serbian List is also important for the future dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina.

He explained that “this give impetus to Belgrade and President Aleksandar Vucic to have a better negotiating position” because, as he says, the Serbian people trust the state of Serbia and the President.

All polling stations opened on time, except Strpce (KIM radio, Herz) 

CEC announced that all polling stations were open on time and that there were no major irregularities. The first turnout estimates are expected around 11:30.

In Gracanica, a polling center located in the elementary school “King Milutin” was open on time.  21. 837 voters have the right to vote. About 7:30 in Gracanica, a member of the Coaliton “Freedom”, Rada Trajkovic, has voted. Around 10:00, Gracanica Mayor Srdjan Popovic is expected to arrive at the same polling center.

At the same time, the president of SLS, Slobodan Petrovic, will vote in Laplje Selo.

In Strpce, voting in most of the polling stations did not start on time, because the Central Election Commission mixed the seals of polling stations, a journalist from TV Herz reported, quotes KIM radio.

In Partes by 9 am, 2% of voters exercised their voting right.

In Laplje Selo, the polling station was open on time. About 1,000 voters have voting rights. At the polling station located in the primary school ”Vuk Karadzic” voting passes without irregularities. About 50 voters voted so far.

Polling stations Gorazdevac’s primary school were open on time. 1,359 voters have the right to vote. Kosovo Police is present near the polling center. The returnees from Ljevosa vote in Pec in the primary school ”March 8”, and returnees from Brestovik and Siga vote in the village of Radovac.

Osojane villagers are voting in the elementary school ”Rados Tosic”.

In Lepina, the polling station was open on time, with 1568 voters. At the polling station located in the primary school ”Vuk Karadzic” voting is regular, with about 50 voters who voted so far. Kosovo police is present at the polling station.

TV Prva learns that Serbs in Metohija have problems with voting (B92) 

”Serbs who have been on the electoral roll in the past elections and who live in the municipality of Klina in the villages of Vidanje and Bic have major problems, and they are not on the electoral rolls at the moment,” BlazidarSarkovic, the president of the Klina temporary body, told Belgrade based TV Prva.

Two arrested in Mitrovica north (RTS)

Correspondent of Radio Television of Serbia (RTS) reports that the president and deputy chairman of the polling station at the Sveti Sava Primary School in northern Mitrovica were arrested because one woman voted with a birth certificate.

Irregularities in Gotovusa and Gracanica (KIM radio)

In the village of Gotovusa in the Štrpce municipality, voting with “escorts” was observed, so the electoral process was briefly interrupted, but soon resumed, reports KIM radio.  The information about the problems in this place for RTV Kim was confirmed by the TV Herc team from Strpce, but the vote continued.

Representatives of the Independent Liberal Party (SLS) also pointed to the problem of “escorts”, stating that similar things were happening all over Strpce, in Gracanica and Gusterica village. They expect that “the competent authorities will take action to prevent this practice.”The CEC from Pristina also confirmed that there were irregularities in Gotovusa and Gracanica.

After more than two hours, TV Pink crew crossed Jarinje (TV Most

On Friday, after being held for more than two hours at Jarinje administrative crossing, officers at that crossing allowed Pink television crew to enter, which was heading to Kosovo to report on the Sunday’s parliamentary elections.

TV Pink reporter said that they arrived at Jarinje at about 3:30 p.m. and could enter after waiting for more than two hours.

He added that at the same time, the “Infobiro” crew was detained, while other cars passed without any problems and holdup.

Day before yesterday Tanjug news crew was stopped at Jarinje crossing, which is also reporting on the upcoming elections but could enter Kosovo after a two-hour wait.

Letter of the Director of Radio Belgrade regarding the detention of journalists in Kosovo (RTS

Radio-Television of Serbia and Radio Belgrade, as part of the Public Media Service, invited today in a letter, SemFabrizi, Ambassador and Head of the European Union Delegation to Serbia, and  Andrea Orizio, Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia, as well as OSCE mission in Kosovo, UNMIK and Graham Dixon, Director of Euroradio, to condemn the act of Kosovo police, which yesterday unreasonably detained a four-member crew of Radio Belgrade during their work assignment ahead of the parliamentary elections in Kosovo.

The letter signed by Radio Belgrade Director Milan Nedic says among other things:

‘’In the year when Radio Belgrade celebrates its 95th birthday, as the oldest electronic medium in the Balkans, it is encountering for the first time a groundless attack, which directly prevents the freedom of movement of people, especially journalists and media workers, as well as the freedom of public information. The only reason for that could be the fact that the official vehicle of RTS had Belgrade licence plates,’’ it was said in the letter said.

‘’We are kindly asking you to, in accordance with internationally recognized European norms and conventions in force in the civilized world, condemn the behaviour of provisional authorities in Priština, seek an explanation for such shameful and unprovoked behaviour, and protect the right of journalists to report objectively and impartially about the early parliamentary elections for members of the Assembly of Kosovo and all developments in Kosovo and Metohija,’’ it was said in the letter.

Journalists’ Association of Serbia and its branch in Kosovo: Kosovo institutions grossly violate the freedom of media (Serbian media, uns.org

Today, Journalists’ Association of Serbia (UNS) and its branch in Kosovo (UNS KiM) issued a press release in which they have condemned yesterday’s six-hour detention of Radio Belgrade’s three-member team in the police station in southern Mitrovica without explanation and  the holdup of TV Pink and Tanjug news agency crews for several hours at the administrative crossing Jarinje and demanded that the harassment of journalists stops.

UNS and UNS in Kosovo also warn that the fact that Radio Belgrade’s team after detention was turned back towards North Mitrovica, with an explanation that it was not safe for them to continue their journey to Gracanica, where they were heading, presents a restriction of journalist’s work or an acknowledgment that the job of a journalist in Kosovo is unsafe.

UNS and UNS in Kosovo recall that three weeks ago, RTS team that was headed to North Mitrovica regarding the holding and broadcasting of a concert, was held at Jarinje crossing for more than 20 hours.

UNS and UNS in Kosovo point out that this is an impermissible restriction of the movement of journalists and media workers to whom Kosovo institutions are severely violating their freedom of media.

UNS and UNS in Kosovo will contact international news organizations as well as organizations fighting for media freedom and seek protection from such actions.

International Media:

Kosovo voters focus on graft, Serbia peace deal in election (Reuters) 

PRISTINA (Reuters) – Deep-rooted corruption and a peace deal with Serbia which would pave the way for membership of the United Nations are the chief concerns of 1.9 million eligible voters in Kosovo who go to the polls on Sunday.

The snap elections, the fourth since a declaration of independence in 2008, have been called after Prime Minister RamushHaradinaj resigned in July when he was summoned to appear before a war crimes court.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-kosovo-election/kosovo-voters-eye-graft-and-deal-with-serbia-in-election-idUKKCN1WK0LA

Kosovo: What you need to know about the country’s snap elections (Euronews)

Kosovars will cast their ballots on Sunday, October 6, to pick a new parliament in snap elections.

Rampant corruption, widespread unemployment and sour relations with neighbouring Serbia are themes dominating the poll — and must be addressed if the country is to make progress toward EU membership.

The election was triggered when Prime Minister RamushHaradinaj resigned after a war crimes court in The Hague summoned him for questioning as a suspect. It concerned his role in the 1998-99 insurgency against Serb forces.

Here’s what you need to know about the elections.

https://www.euronews.com/2019/10/05/kosovo-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-country-s-snap-elections

‘Towel’ flag, judo and pop royalty: five things to know about Kosovo (AFP, France 24)

Kosovo, which holds early legislative elections on Sunday, is one of the world’s youngest democracies.

Here are five things to know about the former Serbian province which declared independence in 2008.

– ‘Towel’ for a flag –

Kosovo’s flag bears the diamond shape of its territory and six yellow stars, for its six main ethnic groups, on a blue background.

It is jokingly called a “towel” by members of Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian majority who believe it was adopted largely to please Western patrons.

The flag more commonly flown across Kosovo is that of neighbouring Albania — a black double-headed eagle on a red background.

https://www.france24.com/en/20191006-towel-flag-judo-and-pop-royalty-five-things-to-know-about-kosovo

Kosovo votes amid pressure to reboot Serbia talks(AFP)

Kosovo went to the polls Sunday in an election that could usher in new leadership at a time when stalled talks with former war foe Serbia are a source of instability in Europe.

Whoever takes the reins will be under heavy pressure from the West to renew dialogue with Belgrade, which still rejects the independence its former province declared in 2008.

https://www.afp.com/en/news/15/kosovo-votes-amid-pressure-reboot-serbia-talks-doc-1l29173

Kosovo votes for parliament amid calls for talks with Serbia (DW)

People in Kosovo are casting their ballots in a general election that’s being held amid calls for leaders to resume dialogue with Serbia over normalizing relations.

Voting in Kosovo’s parliamentary election began on Sunday amid calls for leaders to resume dialogue with Serbia aimed at normalizing ties.

The vote comes after the outgoing Prime Minister RamushHaradinaj resigned in July following a request from a Hague-based international tribunal to question him over crimes against ethnic Serbs during and after the country’s 1998-99 war.

https://www.dw.com/en/kosovo-votes-for-parliament-amid-calls-for-talks-with-serbia/a-50713649

Kosovo Prepares to Elect New Parliament (Balkan Insight)

Almost 2 million people will have the right to vote in Sunday’s snap elections in Kosovo, which were triggered by the sudden resignation of RamushHaradinaj as prime minister.

Around 2 million people will be eligible to vote on Sunday in Kosovo’s snap elections, which were triggered by the sudden resignation of RamushHaradinaj as prime minister in July and the dissolution of parliament a month later.

Voters will head to the ballot boxes on Sunday from 7am to 7pm to elect 120 representatives in parliament at a time when Kosovo is struggling both with serious internal economic problems and with uncertainties about the EU-led dialogue with Serbia – which has refused to recognise its independence, proclaimed in 2008.

https://balkaninsight.com/2019/10/06/kosovo-prepares-to-elect-new-parliament/

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