BELGRADE, February 14 – RIA Novosti. The US Embassy in Pristina has called on the residents of Kosovo to demonstrate their feelings by voting in the elections to the “parliament” of the self-proclaimed republic on Valentine's Day.
Early elections to the “parliament” are being held in Kosovo on Sunday. About 1.8 million people have the right to vote, they vote in 2.3 thousand polling stations, which are open from 7.00 (9.00 Moscow time) to 19.00 (21.00 Moscow time).
According to the CEC, polling stations for early elections to the “parliament” opened on time, voting is taking place without violations or incidents. Kosovo police also reported a peaceful start to express their will, including in the Serb-populated north of the province.
“On this Valentine's Day, show love for your country and family. Vote! The future of Kosovo is in your hands,” the American Embassy urged on Facebook.
This Valentine's Day show your love for your country and your family. Vote! Kosovo's future is in your hands. 🗳️🇽🇰🇺🇸 # KosovoVotes2021
Posted by US Embassy Pristina, Kosovo Saturday 13 February 2021
Citizens outside the self-proclaimed republic voted from February 2 to February 12 by mail. 19 thousand local and foreign observers observe the voting.
The Kosovo unicameral “parliament” consists of 120 deputies, with 10 seats reserved for Serbs, another 10 for representatives of other national minorities. 28 political parties, coalitions, civil initiatives are fighting for seats in the “parliament”, of which three represent the interests of local Serbs. Their largest party, the Serbian List, claims all 10 mandates allotted by the quota.
According to opinion polls, the favorite of the election campaign is the radical reformist “Self-Determination” of ex-Prime Minister Albin Kurti, which has up to 50% of the residents of the region. The long-running Democratic Party of Kosovo, former President Hashim Thaci and former Speaker of Parliament Kadri Veseli, who are on trial for war crimes with two other KLA field commanders in The Hague, enjoys half the support. They are followed by the “Democratic Union of Kosovo” of the current Prime Minister Avdulah Hoti, the “Alliance for the Future of Kosovo” of the ex-premier and former field commander of the KLA Ramush Haradinaj and other movements.
In 1999, armed confrontation between Albanian separatists from the Kosovo Liberation Army and the Serbian army and police led to the bombing of Yugoslavia (which at that time consisted of Serbia and Montenegro) by NATO forces. Kosovo-Albanian structures in Pristina on February 17, 2008 unilaterally declared independence from Serbia. The self-proclaimed republic is not recognized by Serbia, Russia, China, Iran, Spain, Greece and a number of other states. In 2011, the Serbian leadership began negotiations on the normalization of relations with the Kosovar Albanians through the mediation of the EU.