by Rafaela Prifti/
Despite freezing temperatures and the Covid pandemic, Kosova’s parliamentary election saw citizens go to the polls on Sunday. A series of exit polls predicted Vetevendosje (Self Determination) party to take first place, PDK is projected to finish second and LDK to come in third. NISMA looks set to miss out with polls predicting less than 3 percent of the vote going to the party. Three exit polls released as voting closed in Sunday’s parliamentary election put Vetevendosje in first place with between 42 and 53 percent of the vote.
Leader of the party Albin Kurti has campaigned on bringing social and legal justice and key issues of reciprocity with Serbia. In terms of foreign policy, he has pledged to dismiss “aspects of the agreements signed by the Hoti government in Washington DC under the auspices of the Trump administration. Vetevendosja’s position is to not commit to all agreements given that Serbia has been violating the terms constantly, as the Serbian officials continually oppose the recognition for Kosovo, despite pledging to halt its de-recognition campaign. “We cannot be overly polite to Serbia, whose aim is to deny the existence of Kosovo statehood,” said Mr. Kurti to the reporters.
The election was held early pursuant to the Constitutional Court ruling that the last government was formed through an illegitimate vote in parliament.
An estimate of 1.8 million people were eligible to vote in the election, with an additional 100,000 diaspora Kosovars eligible to vote by mail. Overseas mail ballots are not included in the polls, and the verification process is not expected to start until Monday evening.
The parliamentary election will determine 120 lawmakers from among more than 1,000 candidates from 28 political groupings. Kosovo’s Serbian minority has 10 seats, and 10 more representatives come from other national minorities.
There have been some reports of irregularities at polling places. The adverse weather conditions made access to the polls difficult for some citizens.
Partial results are expected late Sunday evening.