Serious splits among Serb political parties on the eve of elections
The October elections can bring about tectonic changes in Kosovo’s political landscape, both for Albanian and Serb political parties.
Three Serb political parties have formed a coalition that can threaten the domination of the Serbian List which enjoys full support from Belgrade. The Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) led by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic even refers to these parties as “Albanian representatives of Serbs”.
Vucic’s party believes that “the monolithic representative” of Serbs in Kosovo is the Serbian List.
According to Vucic’s party all the others – the Independent Liberal Party, the Party of Kosovo Serbs and the coalition of the Democratic Progressive Party, the New Party in Kosovo and two civic initiatives with independent candidates – “do not want to work for the unity of the Serb national corps and cooperate with Belgrade”.
Belgrade’s assessments about the Serbian List on the eve of elections were always characterized by harsh criticism against the candidates of other parties, including even intimidation and pressure on the voters. This peaked with the assassinations of two candidates for mayors of Mitrovica North: Dimitrije Janicijevic and Oliver Ivanovic.
Ivanovic’s former party “Freedom, Democracy, Justice” (SDP) has recently joined the Serbian List, which means that it has joined those that labeled Ivanovic as “a traitor” and “a man of Albanians”.
Meanwhile, the Serbian List deputy leader, Milan Radojicic, is at large and wanted by authorities for his involvement in Ivanovic’s assassination.
“Great sin” and “shame” were among many reactions from Kosovo Serbs after the news that Ivanovic’s SDP would now join the Serbian List.
Serbian President Vucic and Belgrade’s representative for Kosovo, Marko Djuric, say that SDP current leader Ksenija Bozovic is “a serious and intelligent woman” who is “determined for Serbia’s state policy toward Kosovo”.
Splits in the SDP emerged immediately after the news that it joined the Serbian List. Dusan Milunovic and Igor Rajcic have accused Ksenija Bozovic of unilateral action and going against the will of this party’s electorate.
“We are all concerned with Ksenija Bozovic’s decision,” Milunovic told DW. “As far as the other members of the SDP are concerned, we are trying not to burden them. We want everyone to decide according to their own will, although the absolute majority believes that there is no room for this kind of cooperation”.
SDP has major problems with the hierarchy too because the party has not elected its new leadership even two years after Ivanovic’s assassination. This is why even more serious clashes are expected among representatives of this party over Ivanovic’s legacy.
Milunovic told DW that he and Rejlic will not join the Serbian List and will continue efforts to implement their policy at the municipal level. Ksenija Bozovic has not replied to our questions.
The October 6 elections will be held after the sudden resignation of Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj following a summon by the special court that will address war crimes allegedly committed by the KLA. Many political parties were not prepared for this news or the elections. Many analysts believe that there can be changes in government and that new parties can enter the government.
There have been extensive negotiations between two big parties – the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) and Vetevendosje, but they could not agree on a pre-election coalition. A coalition between two big Albanian parties can secure a sufficient majority in parliament that cannot be conditioned by Serb MPs.
Many analysts believe that the LDK and Vetevendosje can form a coalition and could form the new government, but this depends on the outcome of the October 6 elections. 20 parties, four coalitions, and an independent candidate will run in the elections.
Autor: Deutsche Welle