Premises 2021

The diaspora decided to vote physically because of the difficulties in the application

Despite the increase in the number of expatriates interested in voting in the municipal elections, the institutions have not taken any steps to facilitate this process for them. They, this time too, faced numerous application procedures. While some of the emigrants whose application was rejected in the previous elections, for the October 17 elections, they have decided to travel to Kosovo to vote physically.

The impossibility to vote by mail from Switzerland in the last two elections has meant that the expatriate Hilmi Gashi is not among the 15 expatriates who are expected to vote for the October 17 elections.

As a result, he says that he will be forced to travel from the Swiss state to physically vote in Kosovo.

"If I now apply to vote from Switzerland through the mail and this right is denied to me, then I also do not have the right to vote in Kosovo. For this reason, I do not want to lose the chance until this is clarified. I will use the right to vote in Kosovo, even though it is expensive, takes time, and now, especially in the case of the pandemic, where we are afraid of the very large spread of the virus, it has been a big challenge," he said.

Challenging and expensive, voting by mail from Germany in the last elections was also for Beqir Murat. After the difficulties to vote, he also says that this time he will travel to vote in his municipality.

"We Kurbetcarians have to waste a lot of time, we are employed, we have to take leave from work to go to the post office and send it. We had a hard time for that, but now when I am physically in Kosovo, then I will fulfill my civic obligation", Murati said.

5 thousand 56 more applications were approved for this year's elections, compared to those of 2017.

However, despite the increased interest from the diaspora to vote in the municipal races, the "Germin" organization says that the state has not taken any action to maintain this trend by easing the application and voting procedures.

However, this time the longer deadline available to send the votes is evaluated positively.

"The good thing about these elections is that they are regular elections and the deadline is one month, from September 15 to October 15, all those who are registered can send their envelopes with ballots to Kosovo . This, in addition to the time aspect that they have more time, also allows the cost to be lower", said Sihana Bejtullahu from this organization.

An initiative to change the Law on General Elections, the Kurti Government started in April of this year when the country was in danger of going to early elections in case the election of the president failed.

The executive justified the initiative by easing the voting procedures for expatriates, but it was withdrawn after public pressure and assessments that the initiative was made for party benefits.

But, 6 months later, the Government has not even started the procedures for changing this law.