ISSN 2330-717X

OSCE To Organise Serbian Elections In Kosovo


OSCE will organise Serbian presidential and parliamentary elections in Kosovo according to an agreement reached on Monday, top OSCE official says.

The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore today welcomed the agreement reached regarding the facilitation by the OSCE of voting in Kosovo in the forthcoming Serbian parliamentary and presidential elections.

“I welcome the agreement which has been reached today regarding the facilitation by the OSCE Mission in Kosovo (OMiK) of voting in the forthcoming Serbian parliamentary and presidential elections,” Gilmore said in a press release.

The OSCE Secretary General, Lamberto Zannier, said: “The OSCE has begun its preparations to organise polling stations to enable eligible voters in Kosovo to exercise their right to vote in these elections. I call on all to refrain from provocation and to allow the voting to proceed in an orderly and peaceful manner. It is essential that all parties co-operate in good faith with the OSCE as we facilitate this process.”

Brussels, Belgrade and Pristina have been negotiating for days to find a solution on how to let Kosovo Serbs vote in the presidential and parliamentary polls. The plan is to for the OSCE to provide the logistics, as Kosovo is opposed to the Serbian state playing any role in voting inside Kosovo. No details have been provided yet about the agreement.

General, local and presidential elections are scheduled for May 6 in Serbia. Serbian nationals living in other countries can vote in the presidential and general elections, in their country of residence.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February 2008 but Serbia still perceives it as part of its southern province, which is why it has no embassy in Pristina where Serbs could vote.

“We were concerned to act at all stages in full respect of UN Security Council Resolution 1244,” emphasised Gilmore.

“It is essential that the elections take place according to the agreement reached and with full respect to the OSCE’s role,” he added.

“If that is not the case, the OSCE reserves the right to withdraw from its facilitating role.”

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (fornerkt the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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