The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to Kosovo released today its Final Report on the 6 October 2019 early legislative elections. The Chief Observer Viola von Cramon-Taubadel, Member of the European Parliament, returned to Kosovo to present the Final Report to the Kosovo authorities, the Central Election Commission (CEC), political parties, civil society and the media.
The EU EOM Final Report reflects on the Mission’s findings which include a vibrant and competitive campaign in most of Kosovo, a well-administered and transparent process prior to voting as well as an orderly election day. However, misuse of public resources and a lack of transparency of campaign finance resulted in an uneven playing field. The report also noted a lack of competition in the Kosovo Serb areas and a campaign environment marred by intimidation against non-Srpska Lista candidates or supporters.
EU election observers were assessing the process in Kosovo from early September until the certification of the final results in late November. The preliminary results published after election day were generally trusted by political entities, however the credibility of the post-election day counting and tabulation process was negatively affected by a lack of timely Central Election Commission decisions, inefficient handling of complaints by the Election Complaints and Appeals Panel and controversial court decisions. Mrs von Cramon-Taubadel underlined: “Controversial court decisions related to counting of Out-of-Kosovo postal ballots and the fact that almost 90 per cent of polling stations had to be recounted are serious shortcomings to be tackled to preserve public trust in the electoral processes.”
The EU EOM Final Report contains 23 recommendations to improve future electoral processes in Kosovo. “There are recurring systemic problems with the election process. For instance, lack of clear provisions on challenging results at all levels, issues concerning the accuracy of the voter list, inadequate campaign finance regulation and oversight, and many others. These problems need to be urgently addressed, considering also the efforts already taken by the Assembly’s ad-hoc parliamentary committee, in order to bring Kosovo fully in line with international standards for democratic elections”, concluded Mrs von Cramon-Taubadel.
On 28 January the EU EOM will hold a roundtable with relevant stakeholders to discuss in more detail the mission’s recommendations on how to improve future electoral processes.
The EU EOM and the EU Office/EU Special Representative in Kosovo operate independently of each other under their specific mandates.
For further information, please contact: Marek Mracka (EU EOM Press officer) firstname.lastname@example.org
* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.