Leaders in the Serb-run north have suspended election activities in a row about the composition of election committees and the presence of Kosovo state insignia on ballot papers.
Heads of four municipalities in the Serb-run north of Kosovo on Wednesday quit activities related to June 8 general elections in Kosovo until the Election Commission meets their demands about the insignia on the ballots and the composition of polling committees.
“If Albanians have right to be in polling station committees in the north of Kosovo, we want Serbs to be allowed to be in polling station committees in the south,” the mayors said.
The mayors also want Kosovo state insignia removed from ballots, claiming the move would be in line with European standards. “In Europe, ballots only have the logo of the election commission,” the joint statement added.
“Serbs in northern Kosovo want to take their fate into their own hands, they want to participate in the elections, but what Kosovo election commission is doing is an example of discrimination and racism,” the mayors continued.
“Unless our conditions are fullfilled, we will be forced to reconsider the decision on participation in elections,” the statement said.
If Serbs in northern Kosovo do not take part in the general elections, it will be a blow for the authorities who had hoped to see a repeat of last year’s local elections in which Serbs participated in polls in the independent state for the first time.