Kosovo Residents Vote on Removing Albanian Mayors in Serb-Majority Municipalities


Rate this post

Kosovo Residents Vote on Removing Albanian Mayors

Residents in four Serb-majority municipalities in northern Kosovo cast their votes on Sunday on removing their ethnic Albanian mayors from office. The referendum, endorsed by Western nations, aims to alleviate tensions between Kosovo and neighbouring Serbia, both aspiring for European Union membership.

Referendum and Tensions

Referendum and Tensions

The main ethnic Serb party in Kosovo, Srpska List, which maintains close ties with Belgrade, has urged a boycott of the vote. An estimated 46,500 residents are anticipated to participate in 47 polling stations, with a majority vote required for the mayors to step down. Kosovo saw a shift in status following a 78-day NATO bombing campaign in 1999, which ended a conflict between Serbian government forces and ethnic Albanian separatists.

Challenges in Kosovo-Serbia Relations

Recently, Kosovo took strides towards joining the Council of Europe, despite Serbian opposition. However, Belgrade’s authorities delayed Kosovars’ travel home for almost 20 hours at border checkpoints, citing security concerns. Pristina condemned this action, accusing Belgrade of holding Kosovars hostage due to its objection to Kosovo’s Council of Europe membership.

  • In another development, Kosovo announced its first nationwide census since 2011, encompassing the ethnic Serb minority in the north.
  • Efforts by the United States and the European Union to revive the Pristina-Belgrade dialogue face challenges. Talks halted following a deadly shootout in September, where a Kosovo police officer and three Serb gunmen were killed.

Yorum yapın