Lately | Local Elections 2017

Runoff process challenged in Supreme Court

By - 24.11.2017

Legal move by Vetevendosje after recount decision in Prishtina and Prizren.

Vetevendosje has this afternoon (Friday, Nov. 24) handed a complaint to the Supreme Court following yesterday’s decision by the Election Complaint and Appeal Panel (ECAP) to conduct a full recount of mayoral election runoff votes in Prishtina and Prizren.

According to provisional results from the Central Election Commission, Vetevendosje’s candidates were narrowly ahead in both cities ahead of conditional and postal votes being counted. The party believes that it is “unlawful” and “illogical” to recount all votes before the counting of the postal and conditional votes has been completed, and has called ECAP’s decision a “political move.”

ECAP’s call for a recount followed complaints by the parties of the rival candidates in each city — LDK in Prishtina and PDK in Prizren. These parties raised concerns at the high number of empty ballot papers and argued that a recount was required due to the extremely narrow margins between the candidates in each city and to avoid any mistakes that could influence the final election results.

Democracy in Action, a coalition of NGOs that monitor elections, has labeled the recount decision as “unjust,” saying that the election runoff had not been marked with problems that could harm the integrity of the election process. It also added that all political parties should show “maturity” in order to ease the tension that has been created in recent days.

Since the Nov. 19 runoff, the Central Election Commission has been unable to finalize the runoff process, with the number of postal and conditional votes having the potential to change the tight provisional results in both cities. In the capital city, incumbent mayor Shpend Ahmeti has just 237 votes more than LDK’s candidate Arban Abrashi, while more than 1,800 votes are yet to be counted; in Prizren Vetevendosje’s Mytaher Haskuka leads by 327 votes against PDK’s Shaqir Totaj, while 1,600 votes are yet to be counted.

The Supreme Court has 72 hours to respond to Vetevendosje’s complaint.K

Feature image: Atdhe Mulla / K2.0.