Central Europe Review Balkan Information Exchange
Vol 2, No 33
2 October 2000
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News from Kosovo
All the important news
since 23 September 2000

Llazar Semini

Municipal election continuing in full speed

All Kosovo political parties are holding rallies all over Kosovo in their electoral campaign for the municipal elections to be held in October 28.

They were culminated on Wednesday with the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) of Ibrahim Rugova holding their rally in Pristina's sport palace. Before that, posters with LDK's candidates—which resembled what the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) of Hashim Thaçi had done—were put in the capital. Streets were partially blocked due to the crowds of people directing to the sport palace.

The atmosphere got somewhat tense at a moment when Rugova's supporters chanted anti-Thaçi slogans and a shot was heard at the centre. Rugova stressed in his speech that Kosovo's independence was the ultimate goal of his party.

Other parties holding the same rallies in other towns complained for the use of school students by Rugova's party, claiming that was illegal.

Although the central governing are relatively pleased with the way the electoral campign has been held by the parties, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has fined two parties for breaking the campign rules and has warned others to respect it.

"It is crucial that municipal elections are well conducted, because the whole world is watching how Kosovars are going to hold their elections," said Ambassador Daan Everts, head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo. "When we want to have the democratisation at the central level, through central elections, it is crucial that the municipal elections are well conducted and are of a quality character," he told the inauguration meeting.

Kosovo media have tried to pay little attention to the holding of the elections in former Yugoslavia, but with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milošević claiming a second round of voting, different stories cover the media, alleging Milošević has manipulated the votes.

Numerous occasions it has been said that Kosovo Albanians have little to expect from Vojislav Koštunica in case he wins. His picture is repeatedly printed showing him with a Kalashnikov gun in front of Serb paramilitaries.


First fines issued for Kosovo electoral code violations

In an effort to make it clear to all those contesting the elections and their supporters that breaches of the Code of Conduct—to which all signed up—will not be tolerated, the Election Complaints and Appeals sub-Commission (ECAC) has handed out its first set of fines to political entities for clear breaches of the Electoral Code of Conduct.

The Democratic Party of Kosova (PDK) has been sanctioned for two separate offences, while the Alliance for the Future of Kosova (AAK) coalition has been fined for one offence.

The PDK and the AAK had five days to comply with the ECAC decisions. They must make their fines payable to the Political Party Fund and deduct the same amount from their campaign spending limits. If they fail to make the deadline, the ECAC can recommend the removal of a candidate from their candidates list.


Financial disclosure reports filed in Kosovo

The political entities contesting the 28 October municipal elections in Kosovo have filed their first financial disclosure report. The entities were required to submit income statements covering the period from 1 April to 31 August 2000, and to declare the amount of cash they had on hand on 31 August.

In line with the decision made by the Central Election Commission last month, this first disclosure report is now being made available to the media and the public so they can judge whether the campaign activities mounted by the political entities up to election day correspond with their disclosure reports.


No more than 45,000 voted in Yugoslav elections

In Kosovo, no more than 45,000 voters participated in Sunday's Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) elections, the head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), Bernard Kouchner said, adding that there was no significant voting outside predominantly Serb areas.

"We know that the maximum number of voters as witnessed by UNMIK can be no more than 45,000. It may be less," he said. The overall security situation during the elections remained calm, according to KFOR Commander Leutenant General Juan Ortuńo.


New law on illegal construction

The head of UNMIK, Dr Bernard Kouchner, signed a new law regulating the construction and alteration of all property in Kosovo. The "Rexhep Luci Regulation" also requires municipal permits for all building construction, including all construction begun after 10 June 1999.

The law is named after Rexhep Luci, a well-known Kosovo architect recently murdered while working on a project to demolish illegal constructions.


Multinational exercise

KFOR soldiers in Multinational Brigade East conducted a multinational training exercise. The aim of the exercise was to increase the interoperability of KFOR forces.

The KFOR training exercise in Multinational Brigade East included major participation by soldiers from the United States and Russia. It showed the ability of KFOR multinational troops to effectively work together to counter any level of threat to security in Kosovo.


Kouchner briefs Security Council

The head of UNMIK, Bernard Kouchner, briefed the Security Council on recent developments in Kosovo.

He would also meet with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and with the Council. Later he would go to Washington to meet with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and US National Security Adviser Sandy Berger.

Newspapers in Kosovo reported that Kouchner has applied for the post of the United Nations Humanitarian Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), as its head, Sadako Ogata, completes her term in November.


Local police begin independent patrols

Members of the Kosovo Police Service began independent patrols and police operations, with 60 officers from Dardania and Gracanica.

This transition to independent operations is planned for one additional station a week for the next eight weeks and, at the end of this period, all stations in the Pristina region will have a significant amount of law enforcement provided by the Kosovo Police Service.


Princess in town

Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Meryem of Morocco visited Kosovo to inaugurate the Elena Gjika school in Mitrovica. The school was refurbished by the Moroccan Civilian Society.


World Bank conference

The World Bank held a conference called "Kosovo-Economic and Social Reforms for Peace and Reconciliation."

Participants from UNMIK, JIAS departments and from Kosovo society discussed a World Bank report on the principal economic and social reform policy challenges facing Kosovo.

Llazar Semini, 2 October 2000

Based in Priština, Llazar Semini is Kosova Project Manager for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting. Jailed IWPR correspondent Miroslav Filipovic was named European Internet Journalist of the Year.

Moving on:


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Europe vs the

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Lithuanian Climax

Magali Perrault
One Year on in Austria

Wojtek Kość
Polish Elections

Sam Vaknin

Prague protests:
Jan Čulík
Beat the Foreigners

Agentura Tendence

Slavko Živanov
The Serb View

Alexander Fischer
The Eye-witness View

Brian J Požun
The Local View

Dejan Anastasijević
The Opposition View

Natalya Krasnoboka
The Russian View

Andrea Mrozek
The German View

Eleanor Pritchard
The Macedonian View

Catherine Lovatt
The Romanian View

Beth Kampschror
The Bosnian View

Oliver Craske
The UK View

Gusztáv Kosztolányi
The Hungarian View

Brian J Požun
The Slovene View

CER Staff
The Regional View

Martin D Brown
Czech Historical Amnesia

Gusztáv Kosztolányi
Hungarian Oil Scandal

Dusan Djordjevich
Life in Serbia

Andrej Milivojević
Two on Serb Politics

Peter Hames
The Sound of Silents

Andrew J Horton
Explosive Yugoslav Film


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