European Western Balkans

EU institutions on Kosovo: Elections are the heart and soul of democracy

National University Library of Kosovo, Pristina; Photo: WikiCommons/Suhejlo

PRISTINA – The EU Heads of Mission in Kosovo have taken note of the parliament’s decision to hold early general elections on 11 June 2017.

Elections are the heart and soul of democracy. Democracy is founded on the principle that citizens choose their representatives and their leaders through elections that are genuine, democratic elections. For us, as Europeans, Kosovo’s right to choose its own leaders, without fear or interference, is a sacred principle. We share the hope for a calm and open pre-election campaign where disagreements are voiced in a constructive and peaceful manner that promotes pluralism and tolerance for different views.

We therefore call upon all parties and participants in the elections to ensure that they are conducted in line with international standards. It is important that the campaign rhetoric and actions provide for informed voter choice in an atmosphere of peace, tolerance, inclusiveness and respect, so that the final result is acceptable to all. This is the democracy that the people of Kosovo deserve.

We call on all parties to ensure that they propose candidates suitable for the high office they hold. Kosovo deserves representatives of high moral standing and authority. In many of our countries, individuals who have been convicted of serious crimes are automatically excluded from seeking election. Kosovo deserves candidates which meet the highest standards for public officials.

Democracy cannot survive without citizens’ active participation. Citizens have a responsibility to uphold that democracy. They have a responsibility to hold their leaders to account, and to express their views on their leaders with their votes, to choose the leaders they want. Every vote counts. So we hope that the people of Kosovo, our fellow Europeans, across all communities, will exercise their civil right to vote.

After the elections, we will work with the representatives that the people of Kosovo choose, to deepen our political and economic relations on the basis of our joint commitments, including in the framework of the Kosovo-EU Stabilisation and Association Agreement and the European Reform Agenda. You, the people of Kosovo, get to choose those representatives.

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