Tuesday, November 13, 2007

New Kosova Report

Dear Friends,

I will cease blogging here for an undetermined time. The reason being something bigger and better in the works over at New Kosova Report.

Our goal is to make NKR the central place for news and opinion on Kosova status, politics, society and the economy for international audiences. The project came as a result of our realization that it is easy to remain indifferent to the fate of people that you barely know or understand.

NKR welcomes those that might want to share their thoughts on Kosova and its people - just drop me a line.

Happy blogging,

Saturday, November 10, 2007

B92 - News - Politics - "Kosovo Serbs will not legitimize independence"


Let's count the ways Serbia government minister Slobodan Samardzic is wrong on the issue of Kosovo Serb participation in the upcoming local and parliamentary elections.

"Kosovo Serbs will not legitimize independence"

9 November 2007 | 17:23 | Source: Tanjug

BELGRADE -- Slobodan Samardžić said Friday that Belgrade cannot recommend that Kosovo Serbs to take part in elections there.
Their votes in the local and parliamentary elections would "practically legitimize interim institutions which are threatening with unilateral declaration of independence," the Kosovo minister said.

By that argument, because they have already participated in previous elections, they have already legitimized those same institutions. And as far as I know, the character of those institutions has been the same all along. Delivering speedy independence has been the main campaign issue in all of the previous elections except this time.

"Elections in Kosovo were scheduled by its interim institutions which were allowed to do so through an irresponsible decision of the UN special representative," Samardžić told Tanjug, noting that those institutions are threatening to unilaterally declare independence.

Not true. Kosovar institutions have recommended the date, UN's special representative has signed on it. 1244 is safe and sound.

"Serbian authorities cannot urge their own people, the Serbs, to vote for the institutions which will proclaim Kosovo independence tomorrow. They cannot keep silent either regarding such inappropriate stand of the special representative and interim institutions," he said.


No, you don't need to urge them to do anything, just stay away and let them go on with their lives. I am sure Kosovo Serbs and their leaders are competent enough to figure our what their interests are in this matter. What Belgrade is doing is spreading panic and using scare tactics with real consequences for those that don't obey. Belgrade is forcing Kosovo Serbs to choose between Prishtina (or their home town) and Belgrade.

Another reason why Kosovo Serbs should not go to the polls scheduled for November 17 is the possibility of manipulation with their votes and their turnout, the minister said.

Sure, anything is possible. But all five elections so far have been fair and orderly. Some of the best in the Balkans actually. We can't say the same for those elected, but that's another matter

Most Kosovar Albanian parties, including the smaller ones like AAK and especially ORA have encouraged Serbs to participate. ORA also stands to lose the most from their participation because their electorate share shrinks percentage wise if a group such as Serbs that is in no way going to contribute to their numbers anyway participates.

"As Serbian authorities and Kosovo Serbs cannot supervise or control the vote, it would be less damaging if Serbs did not vote than to have their votes cast in the local authorities ballot added to those for the provincial parliament," Samardžić said.

Not true. Kosovo Serb NGOs can apply to supervise the elections just like any other Kosovar NGO. Probably some have already done so, but I'm too lazy to research that. I am sure Serbia can get involved through OSCE as well if they wish, just like any other OSCE country interested in propagating democracy and fair elections. This is as far as supervising the elections. "Controlling" them goes into another realm. 1244 assigns that duty to UNMIK, which outsources it to OSCE, whose involvement this time is nominal because Kosovars are doing most of the work.   

Two thirds of Serb voters are no longer in Kosovo, eight years after its administration was taken over by the international community, he concluded.

Only half of them. Lying so blatantly may weaken your other arguments that may have a case, like the fact that half of them have still not returned. Once we agree on that, I would love to discuss the role that Serb government has played in making sure that so many of the Serbs do not return. And for the other half that have remained in Kosovo in the last eight years, and will hopefully continue to do so until the next elections, what do you recommend they do if nobody will be representing them in government in the next 3-4 years?

Just curious. 

B92 - News - Politics - "Kosovo Serbs will not legitimize independence"

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007


EU Countries Prepare to Recognise Kosovo Independence

07 11 2007  As a unilateral declaration of independence becomes increasingly certain, some EU countries may recognise Kosovo without waiting to secure consent of all member states.


Monday, November 05, 2007


Premier Says Separatists in Kosovo Losing Patience


PRISTINA, Kosovo, Nov. 3 — Agim Ceku, Kosovo’s warrior-turned-prime minister, is used to long and treacherous journeys.

In the spring of 1999, Mr. Ceku says, when he was in the rebel Kosovo Liberation Army, he spent several days patiently hiking by foot over rugged mountains from Albania to Macedonia to Kosovo through deep snow and enemy lines before finally taking up his post as commander in the war against Slobodan Milosevic and the Serbs.

Premier Says Separatists in Kosovo Losing Patience - New York Times