Sunday, May 30, 2010

Local elections in northern Kosovo underway

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA -- Serbs are voting in local election in Kosovska Mitrovica and Novo Brdo on Sunday.

Albanians in the southern part of Mitrovica have announced that they would protest the elections.

There are 13 lists participating in Mitrovica and four in Novo Brdo.

In central Serbia, displaced persons in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Kraljevo, Kragujevac and Niš would be able to vote as well.

The Serbian government dissolved the local governments in Kosovska Mitrovica and Novo Brdo on December 24, 2009, and established a temporary administration in the municipalities.

The polling stations will close at 20:00 CET.

Protests by former KLA members and the Movement for Unity have been announced against the organization of elections by the Serbian government.

President of the Serbian State Election Commission Veljko Odalović said that the protests aim to put pressure on the voters and international community in order to stop the voting.

South Kosovska Mitrovica Municipal President Avdi Kastrati said that the elections in the northern part of the city are illegal. He said that the residents of the northern part of the city need to turn towards the future and prepare for the elections that would be organized by the Kosovo leadership in September.

The NATO peacekeeping mission KFOR has stated that it would offer protection for all participators in peaceful protests, adding that it would take all necessary measures against any violent acts.

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