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EU: The result of the vote in the north does not contribute to reducing tensions

EU: The result of the vote in the north does not contribute to reducing tensions

The European Union said on Monday that although Kosovo has organized the voting process for the removal or not of the Albanian mayors in the four municipalities in the north of Kosovo, the result of the April 21 process does not contribute to reducing tensions and opening the way for the return of Serbs in Kosovo's institutions, which is essential for the normalization of relations.

The spokesperson of the EU, Peter Stano, has told Radio Free Europe that the EU expresses regret that the Kosovo Serbs in the north have not used the right to vote to elect the presidents, which, according to the EU, they would really be the representatives of the Serbs of that part.

"As for the measures, in line with the conclusions of December 12, 2023, the Council will discuss the EU measures, based on a report of the High Representative for the fulfillment of the requirements of the European bloc", said Stano, without mentioning timeframes when these discussions will take place.

The Central Electoral Commission (CEC) has said that the initiative to remove or not the mayors has failed, as 253 of the 46,556 citizens who had the right to vote voted in this process. For the process to be successful, 50 percent plus 1 voter would have to vote. This means that the current mayors in North Mitrovica, Zveçan, Leposaviq and Zubin Potok, will continue their mandates.

The President of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani, and the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, have immediately requested the removal of EU measures imposed on Kosovo last year, on the grounds that the country has not done enough to reduce tensions in the north. in May 2023.

Then, the local Serbs protested against the new mayors in front of the municipal buildings in Leposaviq, Zveçan and Zubin Potok, and as a result the situation escalated into violence.

Several members of the NATO mission in Kosovo, KFOR, have been seriously injured.

Protesters were also injured.

In the face of growing international pressure, last year Kosovo presented an administrative instruction for the removal of a president from the position he holds.

In accordance with it, a petition was initially organized, in which 20 percent of the signatures needed to start the voting process were collected.

Lista Serbe, the largest party of Serbs in Kosovo, participated in the petition, but not in the April 21 vote, claiming that the planned procedures are "impossible" and that the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, "has everything for the votes to fail".

The United States also expressed regret, the day before, for not using the right to vote in the north./REL

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