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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, October 18, 2021

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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, October 18, 2021

Albanian Language Media:

• Counting of all votes in 33 municipalities completed, these are the results (RTK)
• LVV without any municipality against other winning parties (RFE Albanian)
• Kurti satisfied with the result of Vetevendosje in the local elections (Koha)
• Xhacka: Kosovo and Albania have the common future (media)
• EU Ministers expected to discuss situation in Western Balkans (RFE Albanian)
• Mustafa: The LDK voters showed that they cannot be deceived for long (KosovaPress)
• Progress in dialogue with Serbia helps Kosovo join NATO (Ekonomia Online)
• Kosovo ruling party loses ground in municipal elections (Prishtina Insight)
• COVID-19: No deaths, 1 new case (media)

Serbian Language Media:

• Covid-19: 28 new cases registered in Serbian areas on Saturday (Radio KIM)
• Brnabic congratulated the Serbian List: They showed what unity and harmony mean (RTS)
• Selakovic: The victory of the Serbian List is an indicator of the persistence, courage and indomitability of Serbian people (Kosovo Online)
• Petkovic: Convincing victory shows importance of Serbian unity (Tanjug, Kosovo Online)
• In Serbian communities Serbian List’s mayors (KoSSev)
• CEC: Run-off possible in Serb-majority Klokot municipality (N1)
• Janjic: Results in Kosovo expected, Kurti knew he was losing elections (N1)
• Crosses at Orthodox cemetery in Orahovac broken (Radio KIM)
• “False narrative that no KLA soldier committed any crime” (Radio KIM)
• KFOR withdrew from Jarinje (Radio KIM)
• Serbian Embassy in Bern receives threats in relation to Kosovo (Politika, Tanjug)
• Rakic to KoSSev: You get what deserve (KoSSev)
• Danas: Last October, Rakic also announced that Serbian List would leave Kosovo institutions
• “Ljiljana Subaric will be the mayor the least, people from shadow will come out” (KiM radio)

Opinion:

• Chronicle of the Tragedy Announced (KoSSev)

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Albanian Language Media:

  • Counting of all votes in 33 municipalities completed, these are the results (RTK)
  • LVV without any municipality against other winning parties (RFE Albanian)
  • Kurti satisfied with the result of Vetevendosje in the local elections (Koha)
  • Xhacka: Kosovo and Albania have the common future (media)
  • EU Ministers expected to discuss situation in Western Balkans (RFE Albanian)
  • Mustafa: The LDK voters showed that they cannot be deceived for long (KosovaPress)
  • Progress in dialogue with Serbia helps Kosovo join NATO (Ekonomia Online)
  • Kosovo ruling party loses ground in municipal elections (Prishtina Insight)
  • COVID-19: No deaths, 1 new case (media)

Serbian Language Media:

  • Covid-19: 28 new cases registered in Serbian areas on Saturday (Radio KIM)
  • Brnabic congratulated the Serbian List: They showed what unity and harmony mean (RTS)
  • Selakovic: The victory of the Serbian List is an indicator of the persistence, courage and indomitability of Serbian people (Kosovo Online)
  • Petkovic: Convincing victory shows importance of Serbian unity (Tanjug, Kosovo Online)
  • In Serbian communities Serbian List’s mayors (KoSSev)
  • CEC: Run-off possible in Serb-majority Klokot municipality (N1) 
  • Janjic: Results in Kosovo expected, Kurti knew he was losing elections (N1)
  • Crosses at Orthodox cemetery in Orahovac broken (Radio KIM)
  • “False narrative that no KLA soldier committed any crime” (Radio KIM)
  • KFOR withdrew from Jarinje (Radio KIM)
  • Serbian Embassy in Bern receives threats in relation to Kosovo (Politika, Tanjug)
  • Rakic to KoSSev: You get what deserve (KoSSev)
  • Danas: Last October, Rakic also announced that Serbian List would leave Kosovo institutions
  • “Ljiljana Subaric will be the mayor the least, people from shadow will come out” (KiM radio)

Opinion:

  • Chronicle of the Tragedy Announced (KoSSev)

 

 

Albanian Language Media  

 

Counting of all votes in 33 municipalities completed, these are the results (RTK)

The Central Election Commission (CEC) has completed the counting of votes in 33 municipalities.

Votes were counted in Decan, Gjakova, Drenas, Dragash, Istog, Klina, Fushe Kosove, Kamenica, South Mitrovica, Leposavic, Novoberde, Obiliq, Rahovec, Peja, Prishtina, Prizren, Shtime, Shterpce, Ferizaj, Viti, Vushtrri, Zubin Potok, Zvecan, Malisheva, Mamusha, Junik, Han i Elezit, Gracanica, Ranillug, Partesh, Kllokot and North Mitrovica.

The result of 33 municipalities in which the counting of all votes has been completed:

Decan-winner Bashkim Ramosaj (AAK) 65.17% 

Gjakova – runoff between Ardian Gjini (AAK) 46.00% and Mimoza Kusari-Lila (LVV) 37.08% 

Drenas- runoff between Ramiz Lladrovci (PDK) 45.62% and Driton Ajazi (DD) 30.74% 

Dragash – runoff between Bexhet Xheladini (LDK) 34.76% and Shaban Shabani (PDK) 33.69% 

Istog- runoff between Ilir Ferati (LDK) 40.91% and Beke Berisha (AAK) 26.61% 

Klina- runoff between Zenun Elezaj (AAK) 43.10% and Esat Raci (PDK) 27.60% 

Fushe Kosove- runoff between Burim Berisha (LDK) 49.96% and Enver Bajçinca (LVV) 25.33%

Kamenica- runoff between Qendron Kastrati (PSD) 32.69% and Kadri Rahimaj (LVV) 30.37%

Mitrovica South – winner Bedri Hamza (PDK) 53.86% 

Leposavic – winner Zoran Todic (Serbian List) 97.85% 

Novoberde – winner Sasa Milosevic (Serbian List) 64.09%

Obliq- runoff between Xhafer Gashi (IQO) 48.25% and Halil Thaci (LVV) 20.00%

Rahovec – runoff between Smajl Latifi (AAK) 47.23% and Visar Korenica (LVV) 24.78% 

Peja- winner Gazmend Muhaxheri (LDK) 60.41%

Prishtina- runoff between Arben Vitia (LVV) 42.33% and Përparim Rama (LDK) 29.35% 

Prizren- runoff between Mytaher Haskuka (LVV) 40.43% and Shaqir Totaj (PDK) 31.10%

Shtime- runoff between Qemajl Aliu (LVV) 45.10% and Naim Ismajli (PDK) 44.64% 

Shrtrpce – winner Dalibor Jevtic (Serbian List) 59.36% 

Suhareka-winner Bali Muharremaj (AAK) 52.28% 

Ferizaj- winner Agim Aliu (PDK) 62.53% 

Viti-run-off between Sokol Haliti (LDK) 41.78% and Arsim Ademi (LVV) 34.85%

Vushtrri- runoff between Ferit Idrizi (PDK) 34.89% and Xhafer Tahiri (LDK) 33.77% 

Zubin Potok – winner Srdjan Vulovic (Serbian List) 83.49% 

Zvecan-winner Dragisa Milovic (Serbian List) 98.45% 

Malisheva – runoff between Ekrem Kastrati (NISMA) 34.30% and Isni Kilaj (PDK) 29.07%

Junik- runoff between Agron Kuçi (AAK) 47.26% and Ruzhdi Shehu (LDK) 37.87%

Mamushe-runoff between Abdulhadi Krasniq (KDTP) 48.72% and Arif Bytyq (KATP) 37.64%

Hani i Elezit- winner Mehmet Ballazhi (PDK) 50.98% 

Gracanica – winner Ljiljana Subaric (Serbian List) 77.71%

Ranillug – winner Katarina Ristic-Ilic (Serbian List) 100.00% 

Partesh – Winner Dragan Petkovic ((Serbian List) 75.20% 

Kllokot – Run-offs between Vladan Bogdanovic ((Serbian List) 41.45% and Strahinja Spasic (SNS) 34.14% 

North Mitrovica – winner Milan Radojevic (Serbian List) 91.33%.

LVV without any municipality against other winning parties (RFE Albanian)

Experiences in the last local elections have shown that the parties that lead the central level of power, transfer their power to the local level, but such a practice did not happen in the local elections of October 17 in Kosovo, says the expert on political issues Artan Muhaxhiri.

According to him, Vetevendosje Movement, which currently has power at the central level, has not yet won any municipality, while in 12 municipalities it will compete in the runoff.

Meanwhile, the result in the Serb-majority municipalities has been expected, where according to preliminary results, the Serbian List has won in nine municipalities, except in Kllokot, where the Serbian List and the Serbian People’s Harmony (SNS) remain in the runoff, the political scientist Ognjen Gogiq said.

Most municipalities in the runoff

According to the preliminary results announced by the Central Election Commission (CEC), party victories have been recorded in 17 municipalities while 21 municipalities will go to the second round of local elections in Kosovo.

Based on the preliminary results of the CEC, the Serbian List won nine municipalities, the Democratic Party of Kosovo won five municipalities, the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo and the Democratic League of Kosovo two municipalities each, while the Vetevendosje Movement did not achieve a clear victory in any municipality in the first round.

The Democratic Party of Kosovo has won in South Mitrovica, Ferizaj, Hani i Elezit and Skenderaj.

The Democratic League of Kosovo has won in Lipjan and Peja.

The Alliance for the Future of Kosovo has won in Decan and Suhareka.

Meanwhile, the Serbian List won in Leposavic, North Mitrovica, Novo Brdo, Strpce, Zubin Potok, Zvecan, Gracanica, Ranilug and Partesh.

The following municipalities will go to the runoff: Gjakova (AAK-LVV), Gjilan (LVV-LDK), Dragash (PDK-LDK), Klina (AAK-PDK), Kamenica (Social Democratic Party-LVV), Podujeva (LVV-LDK) , Prishtina (LVV-LDK), Prizren (LVV-PDK), Vitia (LDK-LVV), Vushtrri (PDK-LDK), Malisheva (NISMA-PDK), Junik (AAK-LDK) and Mamusha Democratic Party of Turks of Kosovo (KDTP) and the Justice Party of Kosovo Turks – (KATP), Gllogoc (PDK and Democrats for Drenas – DD), Kllokot (Serbian List – Civic Initiative Serbian People’s Harmony – GI SNS), Istog (LDK-AAK), Shtime (PDK -LVV) and Rahovec (AAK-LVV), Obiliq (Civic Initiative for Obiliq – IQO and LVV, Fushe Kosove (LDK-LVV), and Kacanik (PDK-LVV).

The expert on political developments, Artan Muhaxhiri, in a conversation with Radio Free Europe, commenting on the preliminary results of the October 17 local elections, said that the party leading the central government, Vetevendosje Movement, hoped to have its strengthening in local level, but this did not happen. According to him, the preliminary results of the local elections are “a brutal awakening by reality” in the face of the victory that the Vetevendosje Movement had achieved in the parliamentary elections of February 14, where it won over 50 percent of the vote. The consequence, he says, is a lack of investment in human resources and candidacies for mayor. 

“There has been a great disconnection between the dynamic developments within the municipalities and the candidacies of the Vetevendosje Movement and this has influenced the party that dominates the political scene in the Assembly and the government, not to have the expected result,” Muhaxhiri said.

“PDK, LDK and AAK will be together in the runoff against LVV”

He added that other parties, the Democratic Party of Kosovo, the Democratic League of Kosovo and the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, have so far achieved greater success than the Vetevendosje Movement. He estimates that in the municipalities, where the competitions will be held by runoff, all three parties will cooperate against the Vetevendosje Movement.

“It is expected that other parties, PDK, LDK and AAK will cooperate for the runoff, in order to defeat the candidates of Vetevendosje Movement, because they consider that this could be reflected in the central level, in the next elections, as their common opponent is Vetevendosje Movement. “They will do their best to undermine the possibility of repeating February 14 in the next (parliamentary) elections,” Muhaxhiri stressed.

He also said that in most of the municipalities where the previous mayors have run again, even for one term, the same did not achieve victory, but went to the runoff. According to him, this is the message of the voters for the respective parties that do not have the courage to carry out internal reforms, but that those reforms and changes are imposed on them by the vote of the citizens.

Gogic: Constructed support for the Serbian List

Meanwhile, in the Serb-majority municipalities, in the opinion of political scientist Ognjen Gogic, the results of the October 17 elections have been defined in advance and it has been more than known that the Serbian List will win in these municipalities. In an interview with Radio Free Europe, he however says that the results in Serb-majority municipalities are not a reflection of the overwhelming support that the Serbian List claims to be real, as much as the propagated homogenization of the Serb community.

“This level of support, of going to the polls and supporting the Serbian List, is constructed, because it is a public secret how the campaign is conducted there. So, the Serbian List is the only one that has infrastructure and a network on the ground. That is, there are always institutions of local self-government from both systems, Kosovo and Serbia, which are always made available to the campaign. All those who use those services are obliged to vote. People from central Serbia, such as displaced persons, are also brought in to vote. “So, this is completely constructed,” Gogic said.

“Percentages in Kllokot and Shterpce, undesirable for the Serbian List”

He added that the results in two municipalities, in Kllokot, where the runoff will go and in Shterpce where the candidate of the Serbian List received 59 percent of the vote, are completely undesirable from the Serbian List.

“This is not something the Serbian List wanted to see. Also, this percentage in Shterpce was not desirable. They want to have over 80 percent everywhere. Probably the biggest challenger was Branimir Stojanovic in Gracanica. “But he used to be a member of the Serbian List and people perceived him that way and he could not be presented as an alternative to the Serbian List,” Gogic said.

He stressed that the way the Serbian List has won in Serb-majority municipalities is initially detrimental to the position of the Serb community. According to him, there was more pluralism and alternatives in 2017, which opened some important issues for the Serb community. But, as he said, already many issues of interest to the Serb community “will remain in the shadows”, because there are no challenging voices against the Serbian List.

In the 2017 local elections, the largest number of municipalities, eight of them, was won by the Democratic League of Kosovo. Alliance for the Future of Kosovo won in seven municipalities, Democratic Party of Kosovo in five municipalities, Vetevendosje Movement in three municipalities, Alliance for New Kosovo and Nisma won in one municipality, and two independent candidates won in two municipalities. The Serbian List had won in all 10 Serb-majority municipalities, as well as the Democratic Party of Kosovo Turks in one municipality.

Kurti satisfied with the result of Vetevendosje in the local elections (Koha)

The leader of Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) Albin Kurti has expressed his satisfaction with the result of his party in the local elections held on Sunday.

LVV did not win any municipality without a runoff, while it is in the race for 12 municipalities.

“As the leader of the LVV, I am pleased to see so many candidates in the runoff, as I am pleased to see so many assembly members throughout Kosovo. We will work for the citizens, we will see how to expand the opportunities to increase the care for the citizens. The change made a reality at the civic level, is not just plans, but it means current plans, plans that can be realized. I am eager to cooperate with each municipality so that our common values ​​reach every home. I will stand by every mayor who wants to make reforms. Congratulations to all the candidates. This is a great celebration of democracy. Vetevendosje candidates will be engaged throughout the territory in the coming days. Tonight, I will meet with the candidates of Vetevendosje who are in the runoff and we will make our plans on how to move forward,” Kurti said.

As Prime Minister, Kurti was extremely proud of how these elections took place.

“Local elections were held yesterday, they were free, democratic and fair, without any incidents. All complaints will be handled by the relevant bodies. As prime minister, I am very proud that we had European friends who observed our democracy, which can serve as an example country in the region and beyond,” he concluded. 

Xhacka: Kosovo and Albania have the common future (media)

Kosovo’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Donika Gervalla-Schwarz is paying a one-day visit to Albania. She initially met with the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of Albania, Olta Xhacka.

Xhacka said at a joint press conference that Albania sees and values ​​Kosovo’s membership in regional initiatives and international organizations as a priority.

She stressed that Kosovo’s future is closely linked to Albania’s future and that Albania will continue to lobby for Kosovo with the European Union.

Minister Gervalla-Schwarz asked Albania and other Balkan countries for an alliance against Serbia, as she noted how ‘in every large family we should talk about those that are disturbing.’

“We have no topics that we cannot talk about together, we do not have topics that we cannot touch on in our conversations. In recent weeks and months, the language of our northern neighbor, Serbia, has become much harsher not only to Kosovo but also to Montenegro and Bosnia. We must be very conscious and very careful to strengthen this fragile peace that we have in the region and all together to influence that peace and stability in our region is not compromised. I say this because we need better coordination of the five countries of the region vis-a-vis Serbia and we need more substantial cooperation in all regional processes,” she said.

According to Minister Xhacka, by supporting Kosovo, Albania supports itself and all Albanians and will work hard when it takes office as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council next month.

The Pristina-Belgrade dialogue, in the opinion of Minister Xhacka, is the way to solve problems, normalize relations with a conclusion of mutual recognition between Kosovo and Serbia.

She also said that the dialogue should result in Kosovo’s membership in the United Nations and the European Union.

According to Minister Xhacka, coordination within economic diplomacy is a priority for Albania and Kosovo.

She assured Minister Donika Gervalla-Schwarz that Albania is the most uncompromising lawyer for Kosovo.

EU Ministers expected to discuss situation in Western Balkans (RFE Albanian)

The Foreign Ministers of the European Union, in their meeting in Luxembourg, are expected to speak on Monday among other things, about the situation in the Western Balkans, after the recent tensions in some countries in the region, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, as well as on the border between Kosovo and Serbia.

Although not formally on the agenda of the Foreign Affairs Council meeting, this topic is expected to be discussed at the end of the meeting.

EU sources have also warned that the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, will brief the ministers on the situation in the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, as well as the talks he has held in Washington with the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Borrell, last week, has provoked many reactions with his statement about the developments in the north of Kosovo, calling unacceptable any, as he put it, “unilateral and uncoordinated action that causes tensions”.

This reaction was seen as his criticism of the Kosovo Police operation, which according to the Kosovo authorities, was directed against organized crime and smuggling.

Borrell talked in Washington with U.S. representatives about the increase of cooperation around the Western Balkans and the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia.

EU sources have said that they are making efforts to bring Kosovo and Serbia back to the dialogue table, in order to reduce tensions and prevent the escalation of the situation as with the case in the north of Mitrovica days ago.

Croatian Foreign Minister Goran Grlic Radman said on Monday, on the eve of the start of the meeting, that the situation in the Balkan region has deteriorated and recent incidents in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and the border between Kosovo and Serbia have raised serious concern.”

He called on the EU to take these issues seriously.

The main topics of the meeting between the EU Foreign Ministers are the situation in the Middle East, but also the problem with the refugees, who are passing through Belarus to several EU countries.

Many ministers see the problem as a deliberate move by Alexander Lukashenko, saying he is deliberately using refugees seeking to join the European Union.

The ministers will discuss the EU response to these provocations from Belarus. 

Mustafa: The LDK voters showed that they cannot be deceived for long (media)

The former leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) former Prime Minister of Kosovo Isa Mustafa told Kosova Press that these local elections showed that Kosovo has overcome the political trance that characterized the February 14 elections and that the voter is returning to rationality.

“These elections showed that Kosovo has overcome the intoxication and political trajectory that characterized it in February this year and that the voter is returning to rationality. LDK showed good results and these results will be strengthened with the victory of Prishtina, Podujeva and at least with other municipalities that it has governed so far,” Mustafa said.

Mustafa praised the values of the LDK voter adding that they can be deceived once, but not for long.

In another interview to Express, Mustafa said that this was the “second referendum” during this year. “Or the Referendum that overturned the referendum of Albin and Vjosa. In fact, these elections proved the instability of the results from the general elections and put in complete doubt the validity of this result,” he said.

“It is fatal that LVV with Guxo List within it did not win any municipality, sitting in the Presidency, government and Parliament,” Mustafa said.

Progress in dialogue with Serbia helps Kosovo join NATO (Ekonomia Online)

The Kosovo Army possesses the necessary capacity for NATO membership. But Kosovo remains the last country in the region to develop and implement its independent security and defense policy. NATO integration has been among the top priorities, but security experts say joining the alliance is more of a political problem.

Former Commander of the Kosovo Security Force (KSF), Lieutenant General Kadri Kastrati in a statement to Ekonomia Online said that the problem is that there are still countries that have not recognized Kosovo. It can contribute abroad only through international partners.

“Kosovo will join NATO, and there are no obstacles to such membership as our army has sufficient capacity to provide to NATO. The problem is more political because the five countries that are members of the EU but also of NATO, have not recognized us yet. Now you know that every country has to vote. Without talks with Serbia, this cannot happen. As long as the talks are not held and these countries do not recognize us as an independent state, we always remain to contribute abroad, but only through our international partners,” he said.

Meanwhile, security expert Nuridin Ibishi said that Kosovo is still in transition compared to other countries in the region.

“We have met all the criteria as envisaged for membership, so it only takes the phase of accelerating the partnership for peace to become a member. We see that Russian influence is very large and through Serbia, with constant threats, even in terms of diplomacy, ostensibly for the rights of Serbs, but the goal is to create destabilization not only in Kosovo, but in the region.”

But Ibishi says that Kosovo is ready for such membership, always based on the conditions provided. 

“However, our attitude as security experts but also of other institutions and the presence of internationals give such an assessment that we are ready at full capacity, given here that we can now go on peacekeeping missions in other countries.”

Kosovo ruling party loses ground in municipal elections (Prishtina Insight)

The ruling Vetevendosje party had a disappointing night on Sunday, as it became clear it had not won control of any of Kosovo’s 38 municipalities in the first round.

In a blow after its meteoric rise eight months ago, Kosovo’s ruling Vetevendosje party will have to wait for the second round of local elections to see whether it has won control of any of the country’s 38 municipalities.

As the count in Sunday’s elections came to a close, Prime Minister Albin Kurti’s party had not won any municipality outright in the first round, and will go to a run-off in four of the seven big municipalities – the capital, Prishtine/Pristina, Prizren, Gjakove/Djakovica and Gjilan/Gnjilane.

In total, 21 out of 38 municipalities will hold a second round of voting to elect mayors.

A Vetevendosje MP, Fitore Pacolli, predicted more gains in round two and applauded the calm election, which ran smoothly and saw only minor incidents reported during the day.

“We have shown that we are an example for the entire region in our ability to organise elections without incidents and deviations from citizens’ will,” Pacolli said.

“We will win everywhere we are in the runoff. Compared to the last municipal elections in 2017, when our party came third, we are now the most voted one,” she added.

Vetevendosje [Self-Determination] was in opposition when it scored a landslide win in legislative elections earlier this year, becoming the first party since Kosovo broke away from Serbia in 1999 to win more than half of all the votes cast.

On Sunday, the former ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK, declared victory in Mitrovica South, Ferizaj/Urosevac, Skenderaj/Srbica and Hani i Elezit/Djeneral Jankovic.

“Today, citizens showed their great dissatisfaction with the work of Albin Kurti’s government in the first eight months of its existence. For us, a new beginning is starting by unifying with citizens to stop the degradation of governing values in Kosovo,” PDK head Memli Krasniqi said.

The Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, meanwhile declared victory in Peje/Pec and Lipjan/Ljipljane and will contest a runoff in some other municipalities.

“We see this as the day of our great comeback, which we announced a long time ago. This comeback is an achievement for each of us but above all it is a responsibility, which we have to exercise with full of care,” Lumir Abdixhiku, the LDK head, said on Sunday.

The Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, AAK, won in Suhareke/Suva Reka and Decan/Decani and will go to a second round in Gjakove/Dakovica, Rahovec/Orahovac and Junik.

As expected, the Belgrade-backed Kosovo Serb party Srpska Lista won nine out of ten majority-Serb municipalities. The head of the Serbian government’s Office for Kosovo, Petar Petkovic, told the media on Monday that there was “a high turnout“ in the Serb-majority municipalities and a higher one than in the local elections four years ago.

“The Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija, regardless of south or north of the Ibar, trust the state of Serbia and President Aleksandar Vučić,“ he said, referencing the dividing line between the majority-Serb far north of Kosovo and the rest of the country.

Petkovic confirmed that if a the promised autonomous Association of Serbian Communities is not formed, the party will quit institutions in Kosovo.

Srpska Lista president Goran Rakic said on Sunday that, “we are fighting for the Association of Serb Majority Municipalities“, adding: “If there is no Association, there will be no Kosovo institutions.“

COVID-19: No deaths, 1 new case (media)

No deaths from COVID-19 and 1 new case with the virus were recorded in the last 24 hours in Kosovo. 42 persons recovered from the virus during this time.

There are 632 active cases with COVID-19 in Kosovo.

 

 

Serbian Language Media

 

Covid-19: 28 new cases registered in Serbian areas on Saturday (Radio KIM)

Out of 94 tested samples in the Serb-populated areas in Kosovo, 28 were positive for Covid-19, Crisis Committee of Mitrovica North announced on Saturday, Radio KIM reports.

The new cases were registered as follows: nine in Leposavic, eight in Mitrovica North, five in Zvecan, two each in Gracanica and Kamenica, and one each in Zubin Potok and Leposavic.

Currently there are 159 active cases of Covid-19 in the Serbian areas in Kosovo.

A total of 172 persons have died since the outbreak of the pandemic. 

Brnabic congratulated the Serbian List: They showed what unity and harmony mean (RTS)

The Prime Minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabic congratulated the Serbian List on winning the local elections in Kosovo in all ten municipalities with a Serb majority.

The congratulatory message states that the Serbian people in Kosovo have once again shown what unity, harmony, faith and courage mean, it is stated in the announcement of the Office for Cooperation with the Media.

“Despite all the pressures and attacks they are exposed to daily; they have remained consistent with the policy of peace. Democratic and smart politics have won,” Brnabic said.

The Prime Minister congratulated the Serbian List and the Serbian people in Kosovo on their dignity, courage and perseverance.

“Your policy and your strength are a guide mark for all of us to fight for our country,” Prime Minister Brnabic’s congratulatory message reads.

Selakovic: The victory of the Serbian List is an indicator of the persistence, courage and indomitability of Serbian people (Kosovo Online)

The Serbian people in Kosovo have shown once again today that they are wise and complex when they are most needed, and that there is no violence and intimidation that will shake them in a just fight for survival on the holy Serbian land, Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic said tonight.

He emphasized that the victory of the Serbian List in all municipalities with a Serb majority in Kosovo is an indicator of the persistence, courage and indomitability of Serbian people, but also an unequivocal expression of trust in the state of Serbia.

“I am convinced that our brothers and sisters in Kosovo and Metohija will continue to defend their right to exist and their human rights with equal persistence, and Serbia will continue to do everything to help them in that fight. Rejoice Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija, because the time of victories is ahead of us! “, Selakovic said in the statement, cited Kosovo Online.

Petkovic: Convincing victory shows importance of Serbian unity (Tanjug, Kosovo Online)

Director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija, Petar Petkovic stated that the convincing victory of the Serbian List in the local elections in Kosovo showed how important it is for the Serbian people to be united, how much they trust Serbia and its President Aleksandar Vucic but also our attitude towards the Brussels Agreement , that is, the formation of the Community of Serbian Municipalities (ZSO), reported Tanjug.

“As a strong and convincing victory for SL, let everyone know that such will be a strong response of both the Serbian people and the Serbian List if the ZSO is not formed. If this issue is not raised in November, there will be a strong and convincing answer. Serbs will leave all institutions in the north of the province,” Petkovic said at a press conference in the Serbian government.

He pointed out that the turnout in Serbian communities was higher than four years ago, which, as he said, shows that the Serbian people trust Serbia and its President Aleksandar Vucic, and added that the victory was achieved thanks to Vucic’s full support to the Serbian people and the Serbian List

Petkovic added that the election results should be analyzed by the international community, especially those who supported Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti in, what he called, “an action of terror against Serbs in the north and who said that it was a great and wonderful action”

“Let those who supported the action of Albin Kurti think carefully, because not only did the Serbian people come out and support the Serbian List, but the Albanians also punished Kurti for his crazy policy,” Petkovic said

Speaking about the results of yesterday’s local elections in Kosovo, Petkovic said that in all areas, i.e. in 10 municipalities, the turnout was significantly higher than four years ago, and the February elections.

That turnout, he said, was as much as 30 percent higher, especially in North Mitrovica, Zvecan and Leposavic, where the candidates of the Serbian List won.

In Serbian communities Serbian List’s mayors (KoSSev) 

According to the preliminary results of the CEC, in four municipalities in the North in yesterday’s local elections in Kosovo in the fight for the position of mayor, the Serbian List won in all four municipalities. In other Serbian communities as well, the candidates in front of the Serbian List won a convincing victory.

The votes in the four municipalities in the North have not yet been one hundred percent processed, but the result of the unprocessed votes cannot significantly affect the change in the outcome of the voting, reports KoSSev.

In North Mitrovica, one Serb and one Albanian ran for mayor. 

Based on 100% of the votes counted in North Mitrovica, reports KoSSev, Milan Radojevic won 10,769 votes in front of SL – 91.33%, while the representative of Albanian political parties in front of Civil Initiative Mitrovica, Erden Atiq won 1,022-8.67%.

In the municipality of Zvecan, Dragisa Milovic and Sladjana Pantovic competed for the position of mayor.

The candidate of the Serbian List, Dragisa Milovic, won a convincing victory in these elections with 5,384 votes – 98.45%, while Sladjana Pantovic won only 85 votes – 1.55%

In the municipality of Zubin Potok, three candidates ran for mayor. The candidate of the Serbian List, Srdjan Vulovic, won the most votes in this municipality as well, winning 3,210 votes – 83.49%.

The second Serbian representative in this municipality, Slavisa Bisevac, won 376 votes in front of CI Zubin Potok – 9.87%.

The only representative of the Albanian parties was Qerkin Veseli, in front of the LDK of the Democratic League of Kosovo, winning 259 votes-6.74%.

In the largest municipality in the North with a Serb majority in Leposavic, one Serb and one Albanian representative fought for the post of mayor.

The representative of the Serbian List, Zoran Todic, took a convincing victory with 8,427 votes-98.43%.

While the representative of the PDK of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, Shaqir Hetemi won 134 votes – 1.57%.

According to the results of the CEC, in other Serb areas in Kosovo, the candidates for mayor in front of the Serbian List won a convincing victory.

CEC: Run-off possible in Serb-majority Klokot municipality (N1)

Kosovo Central Election Commission (CIK) reported on Monday that in the southwestern municipality of Klokot with a Serb majority there could be the second round of voting, N1 reports.

The Belgrade-supported Serbian List party declared late on Sunday a total victory in all ten municipalities with a Serb majority in Kosovo local elections, but the CEC’s results showed in Klokot it won 48.37 percent of votes, followed by the opposition ‘Civil Initiative Serbian National Unity’ with 21.99 and ‘People’s Unity’ with 16.18 percent of casted votes.

According to the first exit poll results on Sunday, mayors will be elected in the second round in 11 municipalities.

Janjic: Results in Kosovo expected, Kurti knew he was losing elections (N1)

Director of the Forum for Inter-ethnic Relations Dusan Janjic assessed today that results in the local elections in Kosovo in which the Self-determination Movement won no majority in any single municipality was expected. According to him it was so because Albanians in Kosovo have pluralism of political parties, N1 reports.

Janjic further opined that Self-determination Movement leader Albin Kurti knew he was losing elections and that is why he made decision on vehicle license plates that lead to number of incidents at administrative crossing points of Jarinje and Brnjak, and after that he made decision on the action of Kosovo police in northern Kosovo.

Janjic added both incidents lead to the fear among the Kosovo population, however an important difference was that Serbs out of fear voted for Serbian List, while Albanians “had different options” and out of fear voted against the ruling party.

“Kurti maybe didn’t expect that Belgrade needed a clash with Pristina. Because of these clashes, a maximal number of Serb voters in Kosovo voted, and they voted massilvey for the Serbian List”, Janjic said.

He claims that extraordinary parliamentary elections in Kosovo will take place in April next year, adding that 2022 will be the year of elections in the Western Balkans.

According to him it was possible there would be security incidents in the region during the entire next year. 

Crosses at Orthodox cemetery in Orahovac broken (Radio KIM)

During the visit to her husband’s grave Bogdan, buried at Serbian Orthodox cemetery in Orahovac town, Jovanka Saric found a broken cross, Radio KIM reports.

The cross was broken at the grave of their cousin Bozidar as well, and this was not the first time that the graves of Bozidar and Bodgan have been desecrated in Orahovac and not a year has passed since they were buried.

The crosses erected on the graves have been broken before, the families reported the cases to the police, however it happened again.

Radio KIM said the families feel distressed as each time crosses are broken it demonstrates there are those bothered by their dead relatives.

The desecration of the graves has been reported to the Kosovo police this time as well.

Few days ago, two cubic meters of firewood were stolen from the yard of Mirjana Dedic, residents of the Serb-populated part of Orahovic said. Prior to that someone entered her house and broke the windows.

“False narrative that no KLA soldier committed any crime” (Radio KIM)

At beginning of the trial of Hisni Gucati and Nasim Haradinaj, accused of obstructing the work of the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office and intimidating and retaliating against witnesses, Specialist Prosecutor Jack Smith said that the case was about “conditions for impartial administration of justice” and “about what was necessary so the rule of law becomes a reality”, Radio KIM reports.

Smith said the truth was a basis of justice and the truth that necessitates this trial is the fact that “there is a small but powerful group of people in Kosovo who do not want this Court to exist and who will do anything to harm it, in a vain attempt to justify a false narrative that no KLA soldier committed any crime during the war”.

Smith stressed that Gucati and Haradinaj belong to that group, undermine all those cooperating with the Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office and refer to them as “spies”, “collaborationists”, “traitors” and those who “have failed” their compatriots.

Smith added that the Specialist Chamber should be a court guided by the interests of victims and that “the atmosphere of intimidation of witnesses and obstruction of proceedings in criminal trials against former KLA members” is part of the reasons why it was established in The Hague.

“That atmosphere has in the past influenced witnesses to be prevented from approaching the court and saying what they know about KLA crimes”, Smith said, adding that “defendants are well aware of that past and hope to apply the same strategy here to intimidate the witnesses, because it worked before”.

He also said impartial administration of justice implies the building and encouragement of institutions that can protect those who seek justice, and that the Specialist Chambers have the opportunity to provide justice for many victims in Kosovo.

“The reason the Chamber has this opportunity is to be a safe place for witnesses to speak freely about the crimes they have seen, those by which they were affected, and those in which members of their families have been killed”, Smith said. He added it was “important that the Chambers represent a place where they can do so without fear of reprisals or retaliation”.

KFOR withdrew from Jarinje (Radio KIM)

KFOR units have left Jarinje administrative crossing point after a two-week stay there, Radio KIM reports.

Serbs from northern Kosovo, reacting to the Kosovo government decision on licence plates and deployment of ROSU special police units there, had erected barricades on the roads leading to Jarinje and Brnjak crossing points on September 20. For some time it was possible to cross the points on foot only.

The tensions ended with an agreement on de-escalation reached in Brussels under mediation of the EU special representative for Belgrade-Pristina talks Miroslav Lajcak. The agreement included withdrawal of ROSU units and removal of barricades, as well as deployment of KFOR units that would stay there two weeks. 

Serbian Embassy in Bern receives threats in relation to Kosovo (Politika, Tanjug)

Serbian Embassy in Switzerland received an email on the embassy’s official address, threatening Serbian diplomatic mission and Serbian leadership, Politika daily reported.

Serbian Ambassador to Bern Goran Bradic reported the case to the competent authorities and requested increased supervision for all three diplomatic and consular missions of Serbia in Switzerland, in Bern, Zurich and Geneva, Serbian Embassy told Tanjug news agency.

He also asked the police to inform the Embassy whether they managed to find the IP address or mobile phone from which the email was sent. Politika added the email address from which the threat arrived reportedly belongs to Denis Krasniqi.

The email sent to the Embassy last night, in German language with numerous grammatical errors, includes insulting messages against Serbian people, threats of sending a letter bomb to the embassy and killing each of the embassy staff. The sender linked the threats with the events at Jarinje administrative crossing point.  

Kosovo police said last night that a container at Jarinje used by police and customs officers was hit by a shot from a firearm. No one was injured, and the traffic and work at the crossing were running without any problems. Some Kosovo media first reported about the bomb attack, the news refuted by the Kosovo police soon after it was published. 

Rakic to KoSSev: You get what deserve (KoSSev)

I thought you had a more serious question. You get what you deserve – reads the response of the Serbian List President, Goran Rakic to the KoSSev portal Editor-in-Chief’s inquiry as to why and when SL will stop selectively informing the public and discriminating against the journalists of our portal.

Serbian List organized a press conference on Saturday afternoon, part of which was broadcast live by some Belgrade-based media outlets.

The conference was held by a minister in the Kosovo Government and Serbian List chief, Goran Rakic, in the presence of three mayors and a candidate for mayor of Zvecan.

Once more, the KoSSev portal did not receive an invitation to this conference, even though the press conference hall in the premises of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija in North Mitrovica where the SL conference was held was jam-packed today.

Read more at: https://bit.ly/3ATUq7P

Danas: Last October, Rakic also announced that Serbian List would leave Kosovo institutions

Belgrade-based Danas daily in an article published on Sunday writes that Serbian List (SL) President Goran Rakic has announced so far at least three times that SL would leave Kosovo institutions if the Community of Serb-majority Municipalities (CSM) is not established.

The last time he did so was this Saturday. Rakic said SL will take part in Kosovo elections on October 17, and if the Community of Serb-majority Municipalities is not established by the end of this year then Serbian List would leave institutions in Pristina and also those in northern Kosovo.

According to Danas, Rakic also said the same sentence about SL leaving Kosovo institutions in October last year.

The daily further writes that in September 2017 after the Serbian List joined the Kosovo government Rakic said “the Community of Serb-majority Municipalities will be formed very soon”, however, he changed his mind in March next year.

In March 2018, he announced that SL would leave the Kosovo government, as well as that ten majority Serb municipalities in Kosovo and Metohija would form the Community of Serbian Municipalities on April 20. Day before that decision, Kosovo police arrested the-then director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija, Marko Djuric, for, what police called, illegal entering in Kosovo. However, the “resigned” SL ministers continued to participate in the work of Kosovo institutions, and the MPs remained in the Assembly, but called themselves the opposition.

What Serbian List members did was the resignations of four Serbian List mayors in northern Kosovo in November 2018, over 100 percent tariffs Pristina introduced on goods from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and on that occasion stated that Kosovo local government in northern Kosovo no longer existed.

“We also remember that about 150 Serbs from Kosovo institutions, in February 2019, asked for permission from the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, to leave them. He then told them to wait 45 days”, Danas recalled.

According to the Kosovo Constitution, at least one member of the Kosovo government must be from the Serbian community. Danas stressed that the Serbian List was also in paradoxical situations, for example not supporting the government of Kosovo but participating in the work of other institutions. Taking all this into account, the question arises whether the announcements from the Serbian List should be trusted now, the daily adds. 

Marko Jaksic, law graduate and former Mitrovica North municipal councillor, from Civic Initiative “Freedom, Democracy, Justice – Oliver Ivanovic” told Danas that SL representatives threatened to leave the institutions at least 4-5 times in the previous few years.

“Most often, it was due to the formation of CSM, they even gave deadlines as now, and then after the expiration of deadlines, they kept silent and played dumb. Mostly, it coincided with some election cycles, as is the case with yesterday’s decision. Apart from making themselves look like buffoons and clowns with such frivolous announcements and inconsistent behaviours, they have led to complete devaluation of the only serious mean, perhaps even the ultimate one that Kosovo Serbs have, which is why the international community will not treat them seriously and or as relevant, along with the problems they face in Kosovo”, Jaksic said.

He added that nothing would happen regarding CSM until the end of the year, just as there would be nothing from the realization of the last announcement of Serbian List, i.e. withdrawal from Kosovo institutions.

“Ljiljana Subaric will be the mayor the least, people from shadow will come out” (KiM radio)

KiM radio portal writes that for the most in Gracanica the results of yesterday’s election were expected, so the victory of Ljiljana Subaric was not a surprise.  

Branimir Stojanovic, on the other hand, says that this is the beginning for something new, maybe even bigger. According to him, Subaric will be the mayor the least, because the municipality will be led by people who have been in the shadows so far, reports KiM radio. 

Were there any choices in the Gracanica elections? On the one hand, a person without political experience, but with a strong political back, from colleagues and officials from the party, as well as the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic. On the other hand, a fugitive official of the Serbian List, a man who resented his former party comrades. Considering all the above, the question arises whether it could have been any different, asks the portal. 

“It is literally impossible for an individual to beat the state no matter how strong he is in any sense. This is just another indicator that the people cannot get rid of that collective opinion and collective principles that some consider to be the best for all of us,” says Aleksandar Velic from the CSD NGO in Gracanica. 

However, for Branimir Stojanovic, this is not the end, but the beginning of something new.

“This will be the beginning of a new form of struggle, but we will see. Let everything settle down a bit and then we will make a cold-headed decision in the future,” says Stojanovic.

Until everything settles down, Ljiljana Subaric celebrates. Immediately after the announcement of the first preliminary results, there were fireworks in Gracanica, but not the statement of the celebrant. She addressed the citizens via Facebook.

According to the official preliminary results, Dr. Subaric has a significant advantage over Branimir Stojanovic. What attracted the citizens so much to support the little-known, and without political experience, Ljiljana Subaric?

“Practice has shown so far that what is imposed on us, the results will be as such. My family did not have any pressure and blackmail, but what is being said and what is a public secret is that it was somewhat emphasized, recommended, proposed, to all those who work and are financed from public institutions, who to vote for. If they had chosen it themselves, I don’t think it would have been like this, at least that’s how stories circulate,” says Oliver Vujovic from the Forum for Development and Multiethnic Cooperation (FDMC).

Branimir Stojanovic himself, who was defeated in this election, says that there was pressure and blackmail, but also unrealistic promises. However, he is comforted, as he says, by the fact that about 2,000 people agreed with what he was talking about.

“That enormous pressure has paid off, and that’s it. People voted. What is important is that an atmosphere is created for people to relax more and more, and that despite those pressures and promises, there are more and more people who are ready to say that things are not right. I wish all the luck to those who won, but they must be aware of the responsibility they bear, as well as those who managed the Serbian List and the leaders from Mitrovica to understand the message of these people from here,” Branimir Stojanovic told RTV Kim.

Citizens hope for the best

And what do the citizens themselves say, the day after the voting is over, and what are their expectations from the new – old government?

“It was expected that the Serbian list would win, for ten years now, Srpska has always won, so everyone thinks it’s nice and it’s just as beautiful for me. They also had another candidate, but people decided for Srpska,” said Kenan Salijevic.

“Branimir Stojanovic has already been a candidate once and it cannot be renewed as a rule. I expect all the best from Ljiljana, primarily for young people to be better, to get a job, to make some changes. I have forty hectares of property, I expect that this time they will give something for farmers,” said Dragan Simic from Livadje.

“Every man should tidy up his yard, so that there is no waste on every corner, which is not the fault of an American, a Russian or anyone else. To do his best, to do what is up to him. Employment, infrastructure and better relations with everyone are what I expect,” said Milorad Dosic from Suvi Do.

“I think it will get better, it will be better. I hope that something will change, I expect the youth to be employed. I think it will be better for women too, she knows what to do. I don’t know why people didn’t support Branimir Stojanovic,” said Slavica Djoric. 

“I expected the victory of the Serbian List; I expect jobs for young people from Ljiljana Subaric. Branimir Stojanovic is not in my domain of interest,” said Zoran Plecas

According to Aleksandar Velic, the main reason for supporting the ruling party is economic ties with the state of Serbia, and the option they support. “They simply feel a moral obligation to do as Belgrade says, and practice has shown over the years that this is a model that is very successful,” Velic points out.

Fear that the structures from the north will completely take over Gracanica

Among the population, but also among some local officials, in recent years there has been talk of an increasingly dominant influence of officials from the north on Gracanica. Now there is a fear, at least among a certain part of the population, that the dominance of structures from this part of Kosovo will be complete, wrote KiM radio.

“The essence is that everyone will be the mayor of Gracanica, and at least Ljiljana Subaric, that is yet to be seen and yet to be shown. That is one sad truth. As time goes on, more and more people will better understand what I said during the campaign, and you will see that in action. We will see who will influence from the side. People who stand in the shadows will now come out of that shadow, now people from Gracanica will see them much more often,” says Branimir Stojanovic.

“How the north began to integrate into Kosovo’s institutions and how the candidates and all those who come from the north took the lead and got positions. They were deciding for both, those in the north and the south. So, I think that practice will continue. Maybe there will be someone from the south who will be doing something, but still bigger decisions, as far as the Serbian community is concerned, will be made in the north,” Oliver Vujovic points out.

“The influence from the north may have existed for a long time, but we were not even aware of it, maybe not completely. I think that has now come to the fore. On the other hand, I believe that (Ljiljana Subaric) will be able to cope in some period…. but I am not an optimist,” says Velic. 

However, Ljiljana Subaric is not the only one without political experience and that she came to power.  High positions also belonged to many other unprepared members of the Serbian List. Their inexperience is perhaps best felt by the citizens, concluded KiM radio.

 

 

Opinion

 

Chronicle of the Tragedy Announced (KoSSev)

By Petar Ristanovic

“Don’t bother yourself, they’ve already killed him.” The short line contains all of the absurd woven into the short novel Chronicle of the Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. That morning, everyone knew that Santiago Nasar would be killed. Several people tried to warn him but could not find him. Others felt it was not up to them to warn him. 

Some hated Santiago or at least believed that he deserved to be punished. Whispers that the Vicario brothers had started sharpening their knives spread through the town, and in tête-à-têtes one could hear the suspicion that everything was just a bluff, drunken rambling, and that the murder would not come to be. 

The head of the municipality takes away their knives and then, occupied with his morning responsibilities and organizing a game of dominoes, he overlooks the fact that they could obtain a new pair. No one really tried to prevent the murder because they believed that it was unfeasible and that, since everyone was already aware of it, Santiago must know what was in store for him.

Everything that has happened in Kosovo in recent months is ominously reminiscent of the events in Marquez’s short novel. In the public appearances of politicians and experts on the topic of Kosovo, all sorts of things could be heard. What is conspicuous, however, is the avoidance to mention the possibility that a mass, unrestrained violence, could break out. 

The belief that events like the ones from March 17th, 2004, will not happen again has been building for years. It is also difficult to count how many times tensions have been raised, after which we were left with the painful impression that we had attended another staged and well-played show. Whether because of this or the belief that “NATO and the international community will not allow it“, the sentiment was created that no matter how complicated the situation in Kosovo gets, mass violence will ultimately be avoided.

Read more at: https://bit.ly/2XmWSWN

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