The four Serb-majority municipalities in the north of Kosovo will have Albanian mayors following Sunday’s vote according to preliminary results released overnight by the Kosovo Central Election Commission.
The Central Election Commission said that Prime Minister Albin Kurti’s Vetevendosje (Self-Determination) won in Mitrovica North and Leposavić while the Democratic Party of Kosovo (DPK) won in Zvečan and Zubin Potok. A total of 1,567 of more than 45,000 registered voters or just 3,47 percent cast ballots in those four municipalities. Serbs and their political parties boycotted the elections.
A Commission press release said that DPK candidates for mayor Izmir Zeqiri and Ilir Peci won in Zubin Potok and Zvečan respectively while Vetevendosje candidates Lulzim Hetemi and Erdan Atiq won in Leposavić and Mitrovica North respectively. Slađana Pantović was the only Serb candidate who stayed in the running for mayor of Zvecan, winning just 5 votes.
Goran Rakic, leader of the Belgrade-backed Serb List party, said that the elections were illegitimate and illegal, adding that the Serbs boycotted them because of “Kurti’s lies … and the daily repression against Serbs … and the fact that Pristina has not implemented agreements ”.
The Kosovo police said that local elections in the four municipalities was free of incidents.
The elections were originally due to take place on 18 December 2022. Still, due to ethnic Serbs blocking roads and border crossings, stoking fears of a return to conflict between the two countries, the international community asked they be postponed. Serbian List, the largest party of Serbs in Kosovo, chose to boycott the elections, and Serbian institutions made repeated calls for local Serbs to do the same. Meanwhile, on Tuesday Kosovo’s elected Prime Minister Albin Kurti said Belgrade was intimidating Serbs from the north not to participate in the elections.