Important step forward for Kosovo

“The local elections in Kosovo on Sunday were an important step forward for Kosovo, for the region, and for European cooperation on bringing about progress and development in the Western Balkans,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende. 

On Sunday 3 November, local elections were held all over Kosovo.  This is a result of the agreement reached between Kosovo and Serbia on 19 April this year. The EU facilitated the negotiations that culminated in the agreement, and also provided observers for the elections. The OSCE assisted the Kosovo authorities with the election process. 

“My immediate impression is that the elections were generally carried out in a good way. I would like to congratulate the Kosovo authorities on this,” said Mr Brende. 

On the whole, the local elections in Kosovo proceeded peacefully. However, there was some unrest in the divided city of Mitrovica, where several polling stations in the northern, Serb-dominated part of the city were attacked and damaged with the result that elections in this municipality were discontinued. Participation in the local elections seems to have been less than 50 %, but was higher than the participation level in the previous elections. 

“It is positive that many of Kosovo’s Serbian citizens have taken part in the elections even though there have been some violent incidents in northern Kosovo. This is an important signal for the future. 

“The authorities in Beograd and Pristina should be applauded for the constructive approach they have taken to the election process. Now that the elections have been completed, there will be a challenging period in which the results need to be implemented. Norway will continue its cooperation with Kosovo, Serbia and the EU and will seek to contribute to continued progress in the region,” said Mr Brende.

 

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