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EU sends team to Kosovo to observe Oct 6 early election

Sep 16, 2019, 11:18:56 AMNews by : Klaudjo Jonuzaj
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PRISTINA (Kosovo), September 16 (SeeNews) – The European Union has deployed a mission to observe the early parliamentary elections in Kosovo scheduled for October 6 in response to an invitation by president Hashim Thaci, the EU office in Kosovo said.

EU sends team to Kosovo to observe Oct 6 early election
License: CC0 Creative Commons

Kosovo remains a political priority for the European Union and deploying an election observation mission (EOM) confirms the bloc's continuing engagement and commitment to supporting Kosovo's democratic processes, the EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement on Friday.

“I am confident that the deployment of an EU EOM under the leadership of chief observer Viola von Cramon-Taubadel will contribute to an inclusive, credible and transparent election,” Mogherini said, adding that the elections come at an important juncture for Kosovo where it needs to move decisively to make progress on its European path, on reforms and on the normalisation of relations with Serbia.

EU has a long history of accompanying electoral processes in Kosovo and has deployed EOMs on four previous occasions, the last two in 2017, which reflects the EU's long-term commitment and partnership with Kosovo, the EU office noted.

“Shortly after election day, the mission will issue a preliminary statement and hold a press conference in Pristina. A final report, including recommendations for future electoral processes, will be presented at a later stage, after the finalisation of the electoral process.”

Late in August, members of Kosovo’s parliament voted to dissolve the assembly - a decision that opened the way to early elections, after Haradinaj decided in July to resign, as he was summoned to appear for questioning as suspect before the Kosovo Specialist Chambers in The Hague. The institution is investigating crimes committed during the 1990s guerrilla war waged by Kosovo's ethnic Albanians against Serbia's government forces.

Haradinaj became prime minister following early elections in 2017.

The Kosovo Specialist Chambers in The Hague operates under Kosovo law but is staffed by international judges and prosecutors.

Kosovo, considered to be a potential candidate for EU membership by the European Commission, unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and has so far has been recognised by more than half of the 193 UN member states. Belgrade does not recognise Kosovo's independence.

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