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Left-wing Kosovo party set to win election, needs partners to govern

Kosovo's left-wing Vetevendosje (Self-determination) is on track to be the largest party after Sunday's parliamentary elections, according initial vote tallies.

Kosovo‘s left-wing Vetevendosje (Self-determination) is on track to be the largest party after Sunday’s parliamentary elections, according initial vote tallies.

With 89 per cent of votes counted, the left-wing party took the largest share of votes with 48 per cent, the electoral commission said in Pristina early Monday.

The long-time ruling party PDK (Democratic Party of Kosovo) is projected to have received 17 per cent of the vote, and the conservative LDK (Democratic League of Kosovo) 13 per cent, the worst result in party history.

After the poll results were announced, celebratory rallies began at Vetevendosje’s headquarters in Pristina.

Buoyed by expectations of political change, citizens in Kosovo had turned out in high numbers to elect a new parliament for the second time in one and a half years.

The electoral commission said preliminary figures indicated that voter turnout was 45.5 per cent of nearly 1.8 million eligible voters.

The election was held early after a Constitutional Court ruling that last government was formed through an illegitimate vote in parliament.

LDK politician Avdullah Hoti had replaced Vetevendosje leader Albin Kurti as prime minister in June 2020. The LDK had previously left the coalition with its left-wing partner and joined forces with other coalition partners.

Kurti will now need coalition partners despite his party’s clear election victory.

Kurti has ruled out working with the PDK, which emerged from the civil war militia UCK, as well as with the Belgrade-controlled Serbian List, which is likely to win all 10 mandates reserved for the Serbian minority.

“Our priorities are justice and jobs,” Kurti said late Sunday in front of cheering supporters at his party’s headquarters in Pristina. “The road ahead is long, we will make mistakes too, but our goals are noble,” he added.

Enver Hoxhaj, the PDK’s top candidate, congratulated Vetevendosje on winning the election. Isa Mustafa, the chairman of the LDK, said his party would respect the election result.

Kurti governed for only four months last year before being voted out of office by a narrow majority. His successor, Hoti, was elected with 61 of 120 parliamentary votes.

According to the Constitutional Court, one of the 61 should not have been allowed to vote, as he had been convicted of fraud at the time.

Kurti’s party has raised hopes of change among much of the population and the movement, which is supported by younger and newer politicians, wants to eliminate the country’s struggles with corruption, nepotism and economic growth.

Observers said the results mirror the hopes of many in Kosovo for a fundamental change.

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