Why Are Serbia’s Elections in Kosovo, When Kosovo Isn’t In Serbia?

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Justice, democracy, human rights, stability and peace are inseparable everywhere and for everyone around the world, not reserved only for Serbs and Serbia. Serbs still want to rule Albanian Kosovo as their former classic colony (1912-1999). This cannot be done peacefully by negotiations in Brussels (2013-2016) or by military intervention because Kosovo is now entirely protected by the United States of America, European Union(EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

There’s no Serbian Constitution and Sovereignty in Kosovo!

But, according to www.balkaninsight.com, “the head of Serbia’s office in Kosovo, Marko Djuric, for upcoming Serbia’s general elections in Kosovo will be opened polling stations in the whole Serbian enclaves because Serbia doesn’t consider Kosovo as independent state but a province of Serbia.”

However a big question-mark remains for the European Union(EU) and the international judicial order, justice and democracy. How long will Serbia be allowed to interfere in the internal matters of the sovereign state of the Republic of Kosovo, violating not only the Kosovo Constitution, but also international law norms and principles.

On one side, Serbia is making maximal efforts to join the European Union, but at the same time, she is intensively interfering in the internal affairs of Kosovo, considering the republic a legal part of its territory.

Kosovo Prime Minister Isa Mustafa
Official photo: Kosovo Prime Minister Isa Mustafa

Serbia Wants to Hold Its Elections In Kosovo

Why is Serbia, a neighbor country of Kosovo trying to organize and hold its national elections in Kosovo for the ethnic Serbs who make up 6% of the Kosovo population? These ethnic Serbs are now citizens of the Republic of Kosovo, not Serbia.

It should be noted that the Serbs in Kosovo aren’t any kind of Serbian Diaspora like Serbs in Europe or in other countries around the world, such as USA and Australia. The Kosovo Serbs have minority status by laws and Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo (established on February 17, 2008, which is recognized by 111 countries in the United Nations). For this reason alone, Kosovo Serbs have no legal right to organize, to hold and to vote for Serbia’s political institutions in the Republic of Kosovo.

Allowing Serbia’s parliamentary elections in April of this year in Kosovo would mean that (politically and judicially) Kosovo would be still part of the territory of Serbia, such as Vojvodina is, an autonomous political and territorial unit of the Republic of Serbia.

However, Kosovo is an independent state that is not part of Serbia’s territory, so we cannot put Kosovo into the same sack with the Serbian autonomous province, politically, judicially or constitutionally. Kosovo become an independent and sovereign state on February 17, 2008 so it is a neighbor state of Serbia, just as Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina are.

No Legal Grounds for Serbia to Hold Parliamentary Elections in Kosovo

There are no legal grounds that give Serbia the right to hold its parliamentary elections in Kosovo ( April 24, 2016) especially as long as official Belgrade does not recognize Kosovo as an independent state neither de facto nor de jure.

This is a problem for Serbia, not Kosovo’s government because allowing Serbia’s elections in Kosovo for Albanians it would mean that they agree that voluntarily have denied their independent and sovereign state of Kosovo.

This is the political, judicial and constitutional meaning of the parliamentary elections organizing of Serbia in Republic of Kosovo – They want to say“Kosovo is Serbia.”

This illegal 17-year-old circus must end for ever, no more Serbian elections in independent and sovereign Kosovo because Kosovo isn’t part of former colonial Serbia (1912-1999).

Even now, official Belgrade and Kosovo’s minority Serbs should be informed by the Kosovo government they would not allow the holding of any Serbian election in Kosovo, envisaged for April 24, 2016.

What the independent and sovereign state is Kosovo, when for 16 years it have been allowed the Serbian minority to vote for the state institutions of Serbia in Kosovo (1999-2016)?!

Is there any similar example in the Balkans and Europe?

The answer is NO. Why is this anti-constitutional and anti-democratic precedent applicable only in Kosovo. That obviously means Serbia is interfering in Kosovo’s internal affairs. In conformance with international law, it could be considered as an “indirect aggression” because it’s a violation of the independence and sovereignty of the Republic of Kosovo.

A question for the top official authorities in Belgrade is, would they have allowed Albanians in Presheva, Bujanoc and Medvegja to organize elections for the Republic of Albania in Serbia, as it is doing for its Serbian minority in Kosovo for 16 years (2000-2016). The answer is NO, they would not allow it!

Serbia’s Elections Should Not Be In Kosovo

For these legal reasons, the Kosovo government should refuse to allow parliamentary elections of Serbia for its Serbian minority in Kosovo that will be held in 24 April of this year. Kosovo is not a legal election unit of Serbia’s territory.

Unfortunately, Kosovo Prime Minister Isa Mustafa says he will not stop ethnic Serbs voting. He also said Kosovo is not part of Serbia, and never was.

“As soon as the Serb elections are over, leaders in Belgrade will have to tell Serbs in Kosovo they need to look for solutions to their problems in Pristina,” Prime Minister Mustafa said.

Mehdi Hyseni is an Albanian Ph.D. in International Political Relations, residing in Boston.