By Lawrence Marzouk
A report by the EU’s Election Expert Mission to Kosovo says Kosovo’s Central Election Commission, CEC, was unable to justify to the mission on which basis it had annulled election results without holding a rerun.
While fresh votes were held in most polling stations where electoral fraud had been detected, the CEC cancelled some results without ordering a second round.
According to the EU report, despite numerous requests for clarification, the CEC was unable to indicate which law permitted it to act in this way.
“As of 18 January, 2011, four polling station results were already annulled without a subsequent repeat vote,” the report reads.
“It would appear that the only provision of the LGE [Law on General Election] that could be relevant to the annulment of polling station results without subsequent repeat vote is LGE Article 120.1.b,” the report said, “yet it grants such discretion in exceptional circumstances not to the CEC but to the ECAP [Election Complaints and Appeals Panel].”
The CEC has confirmed that it believes it has the right to decide on annulments with no further explanations required.
“They [the polling stations] were ruled out from the election process. The CEC has the right to do that,” Fehmi Ajvazi, the CEC spokesperson, told Balkan Insight.
In Kosovo’s last local elections, held November 2009, some results from polling stations were also annulled without a new vote taking place.