Arberi

Over 16.5 million euros were spent on election processes in the last five years

The holding of a pair of early elections has been announced by the government and the opposition. While the discussions on holding them are underway, they are expected to be the third consecutive early elections held in Kosovo since the end of 2019. And while the cost of organizing all the processes in the last five years exceeds the amount of 16.5 million euros, not completing the full mandate is considered harmful

Over 16.5 million euros have been spent on the elections in Kosovo's budget in less than five years.

Since October 2019, two pairs of early general elections, one pair of local elections and two extraordinary voting processes have been organized in the north.

Of all these elections that have been held, only the local ones of 2021 have been regular.

The others were held mainly due to the resignation and dismissal of the prime minister, until in the north after the resignation of the mayors of the municipalities, and this year for the first time there were also votes for their dismissal.

For the elections for the Assembly (October 2019) 5.176.295 euros were spent, for the elections for the Assembly (February 2021) 4.469.764 euros were spent, for the local elections (October 2021) 6.467.352 euros were spent, for the local elections in the north ( April 2023) 141.938 euros were spent and for the vote to dismiss the mayors in the north (April 2024)  252 thousand euros. In total: 16 million 507 thousand 349 euros.

According to the Central Election Commission, in these data, only those of the voting process developed a month ago are not final.

"For the organization of the voting process for or against the removal of the mayors from office in the municipalities of Leposaviq, Zubin Potok, Zveçan and North Mitrovica, the planned budget was in the amount of 252 thousand euros. We still do not have the final cost, as we are currently in the phase of fulfilling the obligations, i.e. the payments of the engaged staff and others", said the spokesperson of the CEC, Valmir Elezi.

In civil society, the holding of early elections is considered harmful for democracy and society in Kosovo.

According to Viona Bunjak, researcher at the FOL Movement, the reason for the frequent elections, in half, are remaining processes and projects initiated by each executive and legislative body.

She said that the political parties lack the will for regular elections.

"We are seeing capital projects that have not yet been completed within this term and normally this is not something good that citizens should see, because we have to wait until the end of a full term and then keep choice. This normally causes budgetary implications, and normally the organization of elections takes time, and the citizens should already be taught that the elections should be held as defined in the Constitution", said Bunjaku.

Eight months away from the end of the four-year mandate of the current leadership, the government and the opposition have agreed to hold early elections.

The Vetëvendosje movement and the Democratic Party of Kosovo have also agreed on the form of leading the country to elections, through the dissolution of the Assembly.