Vetevendosje to Constitutional Court: President Denies Kosovars Local Elections, Serbia Holds General Elections in Kosovo

Kosovo’s largest party Self-Determination Movement (LVV) has requested the Constitutional Court to review President Hashim Thaci’s decision not to hold snap elections in two municipalities.

In March, Thaci cancelled snap local elections for mayorship of Podujevo due to the health risks imposed by the coronavirus outbreak. The previous mayor, Agim Veliu, became Minister of Interior in the Kurti Government and early elections were needed.

On June 3, North Mitrovica mayor Goran Rakić also became Deputy Prime Minister in the Hoti Government.

The Constitution demands the President to declare new elections within 10 days following a mayor’s resignation. The elections should be held no earlier than 30 days, and no later than 45 days from the resignation.

President Thaci cancelled Podujevo elections in March, and hasn’t declared new elections in North Mitrovica due to the pandemic.

The LVV’s request for the Constitutional Court comes one day after Kosovo allowed Serbian elections to take place in its territory amid higher numbers of daily infections in the country.

The Constitution stipulates that only Kosovo institutions can hold elections in the country. However, despite this fact and the pandemic, OSCE and Serbia organized elections in Kosovo territory, at a time when its authorities refuse to hold elections for their own citizens.

LVV leader Albin Kurti slammed the government and the president for threatening the country’s democracy and violating its sovereignty.

In their request to the Court, the LVV  parliamentary group argued that the decision not to hold elections in Kosovo violates Kosovo’s Constitution, international conventions on civil and political rights guaranteeing the undeniable right to elect and be elected, as well as the European Charter on Local Self Governance.