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Opposition wins Kosovo legislative elections

by ace
Opposition wins Kosovo legislative elections

Kosovo elected on Sunday (6) the opposition to resolve its conflict with Serbia, one of the main sources of instability in Europe.

After a decade since the declaration of independence, never recognized by Serbia, the opposition has managed to dismantle former guerrilla leaders who ran Kosovo, according to Electoral Commission figures.

In total, 1.9 million voters, many of whom reside abroad, were called to vote by 7 pm (1400 GMT).

With three-quarters of the votes cast, the left-wing Vetevendosje (self-determination) party, with 25.9 percent of the vote, and the center-right LDK, with 25.3, outnumbered the two parties of the ruling coalition, the PDK, with 21. , 4%, and AAK, with 11.7%.

"We accept the people's verdict. PDK joins the opposition," said leader of the main ruling party, Kadri Veseli.

Twenty years after the last of the wars that led to the disintegration of Yugoslavia (1998-1999, with 13,000 deaths), Belgrade still does not recognize the independence proclaimed in 2008 by its former province, inhabited mainly by Albanians. The veto of Russia and China also frustrates any prospect of UN membership.

Relations between Pristina and Belgrade, marked by sporadic peaks of tension, are terrible and represent a major obstacle to their rapprochement with the European Union, with which Serbia is negotiating accession.

For the vast majority of the 1.9 million Kosovars, the most important thing, though, is not that.

"I'm sick of this story of dialogue," says Salih Mehana, a 39-year-old salesman, summarizing the mood of the population, eroded by poverty, corruption, patronage, and disastrous infrastructure and utilities.

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A discontent that could be fatal to "war parties", led by former independence guerrilla commanders, who have been leading Kosovo since the declaration of independence.

In 2018, they set aside their disagreements to remain in power.

This time, President Hashim Thaçi's PDK (Democratic Party of Kosovo) and Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj's AAK (Alliance for the Future of the Future) are divided.

No reliable research has been published, but analysts suggest that a center-right coalition (LDK, Kosovo Democratic League) and nationalist left (Vetevendosje, "Self-Determination") could drive out former guerrillas.

Its leaders, Vjosa Osmani, who wants to become the first woman to lead Kosovo, and Albin Kurti, a former Serb-arrested student leader, have in common their hostility toward "commanders," which may be enough to that form an alliance.

Whatever the outcome, "the issue of dialogue will be decisive in shaping the next government," because "the international community will not support a government that does not reach the majority," said political science professor Nexhmedin Spahiu.

In a joint statement, Americans and Europeans urged future rulers to "urgently resume discussions with Serbia."

Westerners strongly criticized Ramush Haradinaj's decision to impose 100% tariffs on imports from Serbia, and Belgrade demanded that Pristina lift them to resume negotiations, in neutral for almost two years.

With the exception of Haradinaj, the top candidates seem willing to waive tariffs and PDK leader Kadri Veseli said he will act like the United States.

Vjosa Osmani and Albin Kurti also said they wanted to resume the dialogues.

Another of the thorny issues the next executive will have to deal with will be the institutional organization of the sectors where Kosovo Serbs live, about 40,000 in the north and 80,000 in a dozen enclaves, and that Sunday should pick ten deputies.


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