Analysis: Lessons learned from the Kosovo local elections

Kosovo local elections 2013With Kosovo local elections finally completed, ECMI Kosovo issues an Information Bulletin analyzing the results, and the lessons to learn from the elections.

Kosovo Local Elections 2013: Lessons Learnt for Minority Communities was issued online as an Information Bulletin on 19 December. With the bulletin, European Centre for Minority Issues Kosovo offers:

  • A short summary of the election results in areas of Kosovo where minority communities live. The summary focuses particularly on the Serb dominated municipalities.
  • A short analysis of the major challenges arising in the Serb inhabited areas by election of parties and mayors that do not see Prishtina as their capital. Particularly, the analysis points out how different interpretations of the possible role of an “Association/Community of Serb Municipalities” add fuel to the challenges.
  • A contribution to the ongoing debate on the reserved and guaranteed seats of Kosovo’s minority communities. The contribution serves to clarify the difference between and the nature of the concepts that is often forgotten in the public debate.

Facts: Kosovo local elections 2013

For the first time, the Kosovo local elections were organized in the whole territory of Kosovo, including Leposavić/Leposaviq, Mitrovica North, Zubin Potok, and Zvečan/Zveçan. This represents a new phase in Kosovo’s development after its declaration of independence in 2008.

Generally, the elections were held in free and fair conditions, and the parties did not contest the results, as was the case with the last elections of 2009. None of the candidates and parties that participated in the elections has contested the 2013 results.

The election results featured a general wave of anti-incumbent sentiment. In the majority of municipalities, with the exception of 16 out of 38 municipalities, there have been new mayors elected. Finally, the first female mayor in the young history of Kosovo, Mimoza Kusari-Lila, was elected in Gjakovë/Đakovica.

Ten mayors were elected in the first round of Kosovo local elections on 3 November, while 25 municipalities had a run-off organized on 1 December.

Though the second round of elections was held without significant incidents, the exception was incidents in the Parteš/Partesh municipality. This led the Central Election Commission to order a revote in the polling stations involved on 15 December.

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