REC: Still without the decision on voting in Kosovo
The Republic Electoral Commission of Serbia did not create a model by which the presidential elections will be held in Kosovo, while repeating the previous model would be against the Serbian law.
Namely, the Serbian Constitutional Court made a decision on June 2016 that the REC model of taking the ballots outside of Kosovo and counting them in the cities in Inner Serbia, Raska and Vranje, is against the law.
The REC has already made an Instruction on conducting the presidential elections scheduled for 2nd April, but it does not apply to Kosovo. At the REC session held on Thursday, it was said that the decision on how the elections will be held in Kosovo will be based on the judgment of the Serbian Office for Kosovo and Metohija. The deadline for delivering the judgment is 12th March.
Ongoing consultations with OSCE
According to the Insajder.net findings, the REC has addressed this issue not only with the Office for KiM but with the OSCE mission in Kosovo as well.
Ruling of the Serbian Constitutional Court is the key obstacle for the Serbian authorities to continue with the practice of voting in one place and counting the ballots in another one.
This practice started in 2012 during the presidential and parliamentary elections, and it was repeated on the parliamentary elections in 2014 and 2016. This was a model used for overcoming the “situation” after Kosovo declared unilateral independency in 2008, after which numerous voting polls were closed.
The Serbian Radical Party made an emergency appeal to the Constitutional Court in 2014, just before the elections, arguing that taking the electoral material for counting outside of Kosovo is illegal. After two years of consideration, the Court declared that the practice of the REC is illegal. If the Court had ruled out this practice earlier, it could have affected the results of the parliamentary elections in 2014 and those held in April 2016.
Previously, those of Serbian nationality in Kosovo could vote in ten places, and they have had the right to vote both in Kosovo and Serbian elections. Also, up until now the OSCE was monitoring the voting process and they were in charge of taking the ballots outside of Kosovo.
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