Today Kosovo is holding its first local election since it declared Independence. "Democracy in Action, an association of civic organization monitoring the election, reports the process is going smoothly so far. Gazeta Express is reporting that it has seen a considerable participation from Serbs in the voting station it visited, including the one in Gracanica. If this is true, it will be e severe blow to Serbia who has advised and threaten Kosovo Serbs not to participate in these elections. Kosovo Serbs have boycotted all previous election in Kosovo, but this time they are very divided with a significant number of their leaders encouraging participation.
Another thing I am looking to see is how these election in Kosovo compare, in terms of organization, to the ones held in Albania earlier in the year. Election in Albanian were deemed to be free and fair by the monitoring organizations, but there significant delays and problems in counting the votes.
Various parties are reporting that 30% of the electorate has voted by 2pm local time. Central Election Commission says 15 % by 11:30 am.
Serb majority municipalities until 11:30 am: Klotok 6.1%, Ranilug 3%, Gracanica 8.5%, Sterpce 10.5%. Albanian areas average 16%.
Serbs in the North of Kosovo, 35% of overall Serb population in Kosovo, appear to have boycotted the election. Less than 3% by 11:30am.
Kosovo Serbs voting -sample of comments in Serbian
Central Election Commission held another conference saying the voting process has ended without any significant incidents. It reports the total number of votes at 709,632 or 45% of eligible electorate.. this is bit more than it was expected and several % higher than in previous election.
Turnout in municipalities with majority Serb population: Klotok 25.5%,Ranilug 14%, Gracanica 24%,Sterpce 31%, Novoberd 26% and Zubin Potok 7% . This is way more than in the previous election when only 3% of Serbs voted.
Final Update:11/19: Election Results per Election Commission ( taken from front page of daily Gazeta Express)
Biggest surprise was the almost 100% increase of votes for AAK, the party of former KLA commander Ramush Haradinaj. This is the only opposition part that has been acting like the proper opposition by criticizing the government. The other opposition parties, AKR and LDD, lost a large chunk of votes especially LDD ( a splinter group from LKD) which lost almost half of it's electorate. Looks like all the losses from AKR and LDD went to AAK. Perhaps voters wanted to vote for an opposition party that stood up to the government.
Break down my municipality:
Dragash – PDK 53.3%, LDK 46.7%
Istog – LDK 70.8%, AAK 29.2%
Kaçanik – PDK 57.9%, AAK 42.1%
Klinë – PDK 56.3%, AAK 43.7%
Kamenicë – PDK 45.9%, LDK 54.1%
Mitrovicë – PDK 53.0%, AKR 47%
Lipjan – PDK 50.5%, LDK 49.5%
Obiliq – PDK 48.1%, LDK 51.9%
Rahovec – PDK 50.8%, LDK 49.2%
Pejë – AAK 76.7%, LDD 23.3%
Prizren – PDK 50.00% or 24,982 votes, LDK 50% or 24,940. ( difference of 42 votes, winner undetermined)
Viti – LDD 44.8%, PDK 55.2%
Suharekë – PDK 47.6%, AAK 52.4%
Vushtrri – AAK 36.5%, PDK 63.5%
Malishevë – PDK 61.8%, LDK 38.2%
Junik – AAK 56.7%, LDK 43.3%
Hani i Elezit – Independent Candidate Refki Suma 53.3%, PDK 46.7%
Shtërpcë – SLS ( Serb) 65% ( , 35%
Podujevë – LDK 66.5%, PDK 33.5%
Novobërdë – LDK 80.9%, SNSD 18.1%