Sunday’s failed elections in Northern Kosovo have pushed the country’s government into a difficult position, since now it can be easily accused for hijacking the right of political representation from the Serbian minority. The European Union, OSCE and several Western diplomats stated that the elections failed to produce any political solution. This is where all issues with these elections begin.
Firstly, Kosovo would be dealing with creating a standard of elections without voters, which does not honour the country’s government. The main accusation that Albin Kurti has against Aleksandar Vucic is that he has held elections without opposition. Meanwhile, Kosovo’s PM went ahead in holding elections without voters. This is an act that creates a negative perception regarding Kosovo’s government as a government that does not respect the standards of a democratic society and is inclined to organize artificial elections.
The second issue comes as a consequence of the trap in which Kosovo’s government fell by not being opposed by the international community or by the Serbian government. The US allowed the elections to be held in Northern Kosovo in order to later force Albin Kurti to sign on the creation of the Association of Serb Communes. Serbia on the other hand did not react, so that it could have an excuse for its propaganda that Albanians are oppressing the Serb minority by not letting them govern themselves. Members of the European Union were sceptical from the beginning and criticized the elections held in Northern Kosovo as soon as the process concluded.
The third issue is that the leaders of the association of Serb majority communes are now Albanians, which devalues the entire thing. In order for the association to be considered as complete, new elections must be held with the inclusion of Serbs. Therefore, this is a twofold loss for Albin Kurti. On May 2nd he will have to begin negotiations for the association of Serb communes while carrying the burden of artificial elections, which show that he is against the political representation of Serbs in Kosovo. This will make it even more difficult for him to solve the issue of Serbs boycotting Kosovo’s institutions.
The fourth issue is that these elections only worsen the boycott of Kosovo institutions by the Serb minority. As a matter of fact, they seem to justify the boycott completely. Instead of improving the lack of political representation in the local lever for Serbs in Kosovo, the elections have only proved that they are being excluded from it. This only deepens the crisis, since in the eyes of the West, Kosovo was recognized as an independent state in order to end the exclusion of Albanians from political representation by Slobodan Milosevic in the ‘90s.
The fifth issue is that these elections will be used to compensate Serbs even more in the future, whereas the opposite would have placed the burden of responsibility on the Serbian government and its influence in Northern Kosovo.
Through these false elections, Albin Kurti has entered into an unneeded debt with the international community when it comes to compensating Serbs. He was allowed to play the strongman precisely because it will make it easier in the future to treat him as an aggressor, rather than a victim during the continuing negotiations with Serbia. In other words, this is a gift that Mr. Kurti has given to Serbia, by allowing it to play the victim.
Now, imagine what a scandal it would be if this was all consciously done just so that Mr. Kurti can justify himself for signing the Association of Serb Communes during the May 2nd talks.