Friday, January 7, 2011

Amusing news from Kosovo

During the last weeks as rarely happen, news from Kosovo were highly amusing. The international community, including EU and US prized openly stability on the expenses of democracy in the general elections held in Sunday, 12 Dec. The prime minister Hashim Thaçi seems that wants to buy international recognition for highly and violently manipulated elections, by playing antinationalism card and by inviting Serbs and other minorities (who didn’t take part in the election and yet have their seats pre-booked), to become part of the government. A multiethnic government seems to appeal greatly to EU taste for obsolete governments backed by obsolete parliamentarian majorities. Thaçi seems eager to play the role of international preferred pet in Kosovo, (something that almost every politician in the Balkans is eager to do), hopping that in exchange, observers will conclude that elections had problems that didn’t affect the general results. For those who have followed the developments in the Balkans, it is clear that from observers you couldn’t expect anything more than that. I could remember well five general elections held in Albania under observation from OSCE and other Western organizations, none of them quite acceptable for anyone that consider democracy as something feasible for the Balkans. But all the elections were considered “acceptable” or “improved compared to the previous ones” from the so-called observers. Observers seem more like moderately qualified tourists.
This time, however, the leader of the Kosovo main opposition party, Isa Mustafa, took a tougher stance against observers. “They are irresponsible. They are not interested for the democracy in Kosovo but for a puppet government under their control,” he said in a very rare outburst against International Community from a politician in the Balkans.
What happened in the Election Day in Kosovo was considered “an industrial scale manipulation” and “vote cooking”. In an attempt to save the face, it was ruled that there will be reelection in some zones, but the damage is already done. Previous elections, organized strictly under UNMIK, were excellent compared to the last one.
A new party, “Self-Determination” or “Vetevendosje”, managed to get 12 per cent of the votes. Some call that party “nationalistic” some others “revolutionary”. It is a strange mix of very educated and smart young guys which in my belief deserve the name “enlightened ones”, which have surprisingly support from former communists/nationalists and as well from Muslim believers. The common interest of this loosely alliance is a strong degree of disbelief toward Europeans and to a lesser extent, to US, a disbelief that has historical roots in the heart of Albanians. In fact, pro-European and pro-American feelings are quite new in these lands.
These days, in Kosovo is expected to finish the vote-recount for about 40 per cent of the ballots and in 9 January, in some highly manipulated zones will be re-voted. The question regarding to EU and observers remains the same: will they accept the offer of Mr. Thaçi for non-nationalistic ruling in exchange for closing their eyes toward corruption and lack of democracy.

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