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UNMIK Headlines 12 June

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• CEC counts more than 90% of votes: PAN first, Vetevendosje second
• Over 50,000 votes declared invalid (RTK)
• Media reactions on Kosovo snap elections
• PDK, VV supporters celebrate in downtown Pristina (media)
• Haziri: People gave no one legitimacy to form government (Klan Kosova)
• Voting in the north, free of incidents (Zeri)
• Palokaj: Government again to be decided by deals, not people’s votes (Koha)
• Thaci: Dialogue to shift at level of presidents (Epoka e Re)

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Headlines – 12.06.2017

  • CEC counts more than 90% of votes: PAN first, Vetevendosje second
  • Over 50,000 votes declared invalid (RTK)
  • Media reactions on Kosovo snap elections
  • PDK, VV supporters celebrate in downtown Pristina (media)
  • Haziri: People gave no one legitimacy to form government (Klan Kosova)
  • Voting in the north, free of incidents (Zeri)
  • Palokaj: Government again to be decided by deals, not people’s votes (Koha)
  • Thaci: Dialogue to shift at level of presidents (Epoka e Re)

CEC counts more than 90% of votes: PAN first, Vetevendosje second

Central Election Commission has so far counted more than 90% of yesterday’s votes and the most recent results are: PDK-AAK-NISMA 34.61%; Vetevendosje 26.75%; LDK-AKR-Alternativa 25.81%, and the Serbian List 6.01%. Meanwhile the voter turnout according to CEC has been 41.34%.

Over 50,000 votes declared invalid (RTK)

The number of ballots declared invalid has risen to almost 50,000 RTK reports. Gezim Kelmendi leader of Fjala, which according to preliminary results won only 1%, said all the invalid ballots were votes in their favour.

Media reactions on Kosovo snap elections

Under the leading front-page headline Two victors, one government, Koha Ditore reports that it remains unclear who will form the government after the 11 June snap elections. The paper also notes that in their first reactions after the results, the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) and the Vetevendosje Movement said they would not form a coalition with the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK). According to the paper, this leaves open the possibility of a coalition between the LDK and Vetevendosje. Zeri writes on the front page that while the PDK-AAK-NISMA coalition managed to win the majority of votes on Sunday, it lost votes compared to what each of the coalition parties won in last 2014 elections. The paper also notes that only Vetevendosje scored “an electoral revolution” having doubled its votes compared to last elections. LDK, on the other hand, was the party that was dealt the most serious blow in these elections, the paper adds. Kosova Sot meanwhile headlines that a new post-election coalition will be unavoidable as none of the parties can form a government. Bota Sot carries the following headline: Kosovo self-determined, LDK-Vetevendosje to join against PAN coalition.  Epoka e Re writes that PAN coalition came in first but that elections go to Vetevendosje which doubled. Reuters reported that the biggest surprise of the election was Vetevendosje.

PDK, VV supporters celebrate in downtown Pristina (media)

Most media report that supporters of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) on the one hand and supporters of the Vetevendosje Movement celebrated in downtown Pristina after the preliminary results of Sunday’s early general elections. PAN candidate for prime minister, Ramush Haradinaj and PDK leader, Kadri Veseli, told their supporters at the Skenderbeu square in Pristina that Kosovo has given a victory to their coalition and thanked all those who voted for them. “This is our democratic Kosovo, this is our Western Kosovo, this is the New Beginning. We will work strongly with you. We will work for all, even for those who did not vote for us”, Veseli said. Zeri reports that the leader of the coalition partner NISMA, Fatmir Limaj, was not seen at the celebrations. Pristina mayor and Vetevendosje deputy leader Shpend Ahmeti told supporters in Pristina: “today we are the biggest political party in the Republic of Kosovo. Good times are coming for all citizens of Kosovo. You helped Vetevendosje rise to over 45 percent. We are leading in the majority of cities and towns. We have risen from 100,000 votes to over 220,000 votes. It is now evident that the damages inflicted on Kosovo will stop. Vetevendosje will lead the new government and Albin Kurti will be the Prime Minister of Kosovo”.

Haziri: People gave no one legitimacy to form government (Klan Kosova)

Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) deputy leader, Lutfi Haziri, said the party would not be entering a coalition with anyone. “LDK confirms that it will not enter in any agreement or cooperation with those who proved ungrateful. Not even with mediators will we sit on the same table with them,” Haziri said. He added however that the party will not take any decisions before the CEC certifies election results and that despite celebrations “the people gave no one legitimacy to form the government”.

Voting in the north, free of incidents (Zeri)

The voting process in the north of Kosovo was free of incidents, reports the paper adding that the increased police presence and the large number of OSCE observers have likely contributed to a peaceful election process in the four northern municipalities. Head of the OSCE mission in Kosovo Jan Braathu, U.S. Ambassador Greg Delawie and head of EU Office in Kosovo Nataliya Apostolova all visited polling stations in the north yesterday and commended the process. Delawie and Apostolova both said they were encouraged by the large turnout of voters in the north.

Palokaj: Government again will be decided by deals, not people’s votes (Koha)

The paper’s correspondent from Brussels, Augustin Palokaj, argues in an opinion piece that the biggest loser from the 11 June elections is the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) which was punished by the voters for its earlier coalition with the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK). “The biggest winner is the Vetevendosje Movement which can emerge as the biggest party in the country. The PDK may seem like a loser despite the fact that it won with a coalition of a dozen parties, but it also has tremendous experience of remaining in power. These elections proved a bitter reality and that is that Kosovo is practically divided because in one part of its territory, in the north, there were celebrations with officials from Serbia and with chants ‘Kosovo is Serbia’. With the exception of the growth of Vetevendosje, little has changed in Kosovo after these elections,” Palokaj writes.

Thaci: Dialogue to shift at level of presidents (Epoka e Re)

The President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, told Deutche Welle that the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia will shift at the level of presidents. He said there will be a focus on a wider political framework in order to reach an agreement that would lead towards good neighborly relations and cooperation, normalization and reconciliation. Thaci repeated his harsh criticism of the European Union and its approach towards Kosovo. “I do not remove a single point from what I said earlier. I did not criticize, but I expressed my concern for EU’s delays towards Kosovo and other Balkans countries. This delay and this gap have created space for non-Euro Atlantic ideologies in our regions,” Thaci said. He further stressed that whoever creates the new government, will be dealing with the establishment of the Association/Community of Serb majority municipalities and the border demarcation with Montenegro.

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