Kosovo President postpones elections in north Kosovo for April

Armend NIMANI / AFP

Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani said that a decision has been taken to postpone the December 18 early elections for the mayors of the four north Kosovo municipalities with a predominantly Serb population for April 2023. The decision was welcomed by Quint and European Union (EU) ambassadors.

Osmani told a media conference that there is full consensus of all the political parties for this decision and that the Central Election Commission report regarding the security situation in the north of the country was also considered.

In order to ensure a big participation in these elections, to have observers from local and international partners, to ensure safety for all citizens and sufficient time for the security institutions to take additional action to establish law and order in the north, my evaluation is that the postponement is necessary, Osmani told reporters.

Following her meeting with representatives of the political parties Osmani said that she received a joint report of the Kosovo Police and Kosovo Intelligence Agency assessing the level of risk, but she provided no details.

The Quint and the EU welcomed the postponement of the elections in north Kosovo.

“The Embassies of France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the EU Office/ EUSR welcome the decision by the Kosovan government and the political party leaders to postpone the municipal and mayoral elections in the four northern municipalities at this time,” said head of the EU office in Kosovo Tomas Szunyog, describing the decision as constructive.

“It advances efforts to promote a more secure situation in the north which is key for the EU-facilitated Dialogue as the only way forward to achieve a comprehensive agreement on normalized relations between Kosovo and Serbia,” Szunyog wrote on Twitter.