Kosovo Heightens Security For Elections

With elections approaching on Sunday, authorities in Pristina have increased measures in order to prevent poll fraud.

With general elections looming in Kosovo on Sunday, the authorities in Pristina have increased measures in order to prevent fraud or intimidation at polling stations.

Alongside 27,733 election observers, around 100 prosecutors will be on duty across the country to ensure that no corrupt acts or crimes take place during voting.

Laura Pula, National Coordinator at the State Prosecution, told Balkan Insight that a large number of prosecutors was needed ‘in order to prevent fraud during the elections’.

Back in 2010, the first national elections in Kosovo after it declared independence from Serbia in 2008 were marred by flaws.

Areas such as Skenderaj and Gllogovc saw suspiciously high turnouts of over 93 and 86 per cent respectively. When Prime Minister Hashim Thaci declared victory, some other parties accused him of ballot stuffing.

In November 2013, elections in Serb-run North Mitrovica were undermined by violence on the part of hardliners opposed to Serbs taking part in Kosovo elections.

Voters said they felt intimidated and some were threatened with losing their jobs if they voted. Masked men also invaded the polling stations and attacked voters.

Four prosecutors will be responsible for the northern, Serbian, municipalities of Zubin Potok, Leposavic and Mitrovica North, Pula said.

For this year’s elections, police officers are taking additional safety measures before and after the vote.

Police will take action to ‘prevent and combat criminal acts wherever they jeopardize public peace… during the electoral process”, a police statement said.

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