International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Polling stations close in Kosovo, turnout below 50 pct, dozens of irregularities

October 6, 2019

Kosovo's early general elections ended at 7 pm local time on Sunday without any serious incidents, with the turnout of some 44 percent, according to latest data, and dozens of irregularities recorded by OSCE and Democracy at Work, an NGO which monitored the voting, media reported.

 Belgrade said the turnout in the parts of Kosovo Serb majority was higher than in the 2017 local elections.

During the day, the president and his deputy of the election board in the northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica were arrested after they allowed a woman to vote although she presented only her birth certificate, which is not in line with the Central Election Commission's instructions.

Northern Mitrovica KoSSev website has tweeted later on Sunday it’s been under severe hacker attack and that they would share their reports on Twitter and Facebook social media until the site is restored.

 The police in the southern town of Prizren said they detained seven people for taking photos of their ballot papers. Five will be kept in 48-hour custody, while two were released.

The OSCE also said their monitors recorded that a woman in northern Mitrovica tried to vote twice at two stations.

Earlier its mission Spokesperson, Senad Sabovic, told the KoSSev news agency that some people tried to vote presenting documents issued by Serbia's authorities or UNMIK (UN Mission in Kosovo), which the Central Election Commission (CIK) does not allow.

"There were frequent attempts, but the boards are following the CIK's decisions," he said.

Displaced persons eligible to vote took to Kosovo from central Serbia, some bussed in an organised manner helped by a local Serbian Progressive Party (SNS).

Democracy at Work recorded dozens of irregularities, mostly when voters could not find their names on the lists, driving voters to the polling stations, taking photos of the ballot papers and "increasing pressure on the voters.

"Earlier in the day, according to Kosovo news agency Kallxo, three units of Kosovo's Special Police entered the Police Precinct in the northern part of the town and are stationed there at the moment.

The citizens can vote at 2,547 polling stations, which is 42 more than in the previous elections.

Almost two million (1,937,869) people are eligible to vote, which is 111,733 more than in the 2017 local elections. Kosovo's CIK has decided that 35,087 persons living outside Kosovo will have the right to vote in the election.

Twenty political parties, four coalitions and one independent candidate are participating in the election, and 1,067 candidates run for 120 seats in the Parliament. Six candidates, five of the Albanian and one of the Serbian community, run for the post of the Prime Minister.

As for the Serb political entities, three political parties and one coalition will compete for the votes of 117,808 voters registered in the Serb-inhabited communities.

The polling stations in Kosovo opened at 7 am.  

Source: http://rs.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a532216/Polling-stations-close-in-Kosovo-turnout-some-44-percent.html

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