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The Serbs of northern Kosovo start petitions to dismiss the Albanian mayors of 4 municipalities

The Serbs of northern Kosovo start petitions to dismiss the Albanian mayors of 4

The representatives of the citizens of four municipalities in the north of Kosovo and Metohija - Mitrovica of Kosovo, Leposavič, Zveçan and Zubin Potok - have submitted requests for the initiation of the petition for the dismissal of the mayors of the municipalities according to the process determined by the government for the announcement of new elections. EURACTIV reports .

The Mayor of North Mitrovica Municipality, Nexhat Uglanjin, confirmed that three people had gone to present the request, but had not followed the proper procedure and were asked to do so. The Mayor of Zubin Puton Municipality, Izmir Zeqiri, confirmed similar information – that individuals have been told to follow the proper process that includes going through municipal assemblies.

According to government rules, those who wish to seek the dismissal of the mayor must notify the chairman of the municipal assembly and the Central Election Commission (CEC) as a first step.

The CEC confirmed that they received four emails with a request for the dismissal of the mayors. The spokeswoman of the CEC said that the case is being processed according to the rules.

"I can confirm that during today's day we received four e-mails, three of which have attached the completed form for the initiation of the request for the dismissal of the president from office. At this stage, I can tell you that these letters will be processed and we will inform you about this" , says the announcement of the CEC.

According to the rules, within five days of receiving the request, the chairman must register the initiating group as an authorized party. If this is not done within the deadline, the group can ask the CEC to do so.

Five days after registration, the group must submit to the mayor the necessary documents for the number of voters in the respective municipality and the number of required signatures. The group then has 30 days to collect signatures to call for the mayors' removal, with a possible 15-day extension.

Then the petitions are sent to the mayor and the CEC. The electoral institution verifies the signatures and if the threshold of 20% of voters is not reached, the initiator group has 10 more days to reach it. If the required amount of signatures is then collected, elections are called in that municipality.

But some Kosovo Serbs have claimed that they were prevented from registering.

"We, as citizens, came today to submit the initiative for the dismissal of the mayor of North Mitrovica. We wanted to do this, as did our fellow citizens from the municipality of Zveçan, Zubin Potok and Leposaviq. After several hours of negotiations with the authorities of the North Mitrovica Municipality, we could not submit this initiative. Our initiative was rejected" , said Sanja Krtinič.

She emphasized that people wanted to initiate the dismissal of the mayor of North Mitrovica because they believed that he was elected illegally and illegitimately, despite the fact that international observers considered the elections free and fair and recognized the results.

The current mayors of the four municipalities were appointed after the April 23 elections, which Kosovo Serbs boycotted after calls from Belgrade not to participate. The elections were announced after Serbs resigned en masse from all Kosovo institutions at the end of 2022.

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