From: Die Morina van Uijtregt
Appeal Panel Confirms Ban on Kosovo’s Albin Kurti to Run in February Elections

An appeal panel in Kosovo has confirmed the exclusion of Albin Kurti from the electoral list of candidates running in the February 14 snap elections in Kosovo.

The Election Complaints and Appeals Panel (ECAP) decided to confirm the Central Election Commission’s (CEC) decision to exclude from the Vetevendosje party’s electoral lists a number of candidates who either didn’t meet the criteria or were convicted for a crime in the last three years.

It decided that Albin Kurti, Albulena Haxhiu, Liburn Aliu, Bajram Mavriqi dhe Labinote Demi Murtezi will be excluded from the list, which has to be certified with only 105 of the original 110 candidates.

The decision is based on the ruling of the Constitutional Court that led to snap elections. It stipulated that no person convicted with a final decision by a Kosovo court in the last three years may be sworn in and serve as an MP.

In 2018, Kurti received a suspended sentence for throwing tear gas in Parliament in protest against border demarcation with Montenegro. Vetevendosje claimed that Kosovo lost territory. They protested in the same way against the establishment of the Association of Serb-majority Municipalities.

Albin Kurti was leading Vetevendosje’s election list as its candidate for prime minister.

The ECAP decided the same for the Social Democratic Initiative (NISMA). It certified its electoral list after excluding 12 candidates who did not meet the criteria.

No decision has been published on the complaint filed by the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK). Earlier during the day, local media reported that AAK replaced three candidates.

Parties have 24 hours to appeal their cases to the Supreme Court, which then will have three days to take a decision.

Snap parliamentary elections in Kosovo are set to be held on February 14, while the certification process will be concluded on January 31.

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