Civil society demands the withdrawal of the initiative for changes to the Law on Elections

the parliament of Kosovo

Seven civil society organizations have requested the withdrawal of the initiative to amend the Law on General Elections.

In a joint communique, Democracy Plus (D+), Democratic Institute of Kosovo (KDI), Democracy for Development (D4D), SPEAK Movement, Initiative for Progress (INPO), Kosovo Institute for Justice (IKD) and Organization for Democracy, Anti-Corruption and Dignity (Çohu) have said that the urgency with which the amendment of this law is being attempted is not justified.

On Friday, on the day when it was expected to vote for Vjosa Osmani for president, the Vetëvendosje Movement launched the initiative for changes in the Election Law to enable the diaspora to vote in embassies and consulates. From the opposition, this initiative was considered urgent and political blackmail, since on the same day, Prime Minister Albin Kurti threatened the opposition with new elections, in case it does not enable the quorum to elect Vjosa Osmani as head of state.

"A process so important for democracy in the country should be comprehensive, with the participation of the opposition and extensive consultation with civil society organizations, the public, and finally, the opinion of the Venice Commission should also be sought. Moreover, the proposed changes are partial and do not address the shortcomings of this law. This should not be the approach followed towards reforms in general, as it is not serious and serves only narrow party interests", the announcement of these organizations states.

According to them, even if the extraordinary elections are announced, the implementation of the proposed changes would encounter difficulties due to the short deadlines to make all the necessary preparations for voting in Kosovo's diplomatic and consular missions abroad.

"In this way, the entire election process would be compromised. Such changes should be made at least one year before elections are held, as recommended by the Venice Commission's Code of Good Practice on Electoral Matters. At this moment, all the focus of the parliamentary political parties should be in the service of the election of the new President", the reaction states.