Neanche un mese dopo l'accordo sulla parecipazione di Pristina ai forum internazionali, che ha consentito a Belgrado di ottenere la candidatura all'adesione all'UE, l'intenzione della Serbia di includere anche il Kosovo nelle sue elezioni parlamentari e amministrative del prossimo 6 maggio sta provocando una prova di forza e una escalation delle tensioni tra i due paesi. Alcuni analisti suggeriscono, tuttavia, che le autorità di Pristina dovrebbero lasciare che nei comuni a maggioranza serba le elezioni si tengano ugualmente.
Qui di seguito un articolo di Muhamet Brajshori da Pristina pubblicato ieri da Southeast European Times.
Pristina weighs force to keep Serbia's election from Kosovo
By Muhamet Brajshori for Southeast European Times in Pristina -- 22/03/12
Serbia's plans to include territory in Kosovo in its May 6th election may be met with a show of force and an escalation of the hostilities between the two countries. But some analysts suggest that Pristina should let the vote occur.
Representatives of four northern Kosovo municipalities announced on Wednesday (March 21st) that they have asked Serbia to hold local elections in Kosovo on May 6th. They noted that Kosovo Serbs have shown loyalty to Serbia by overwhelmingly denouncing Pristina institutions in a recent non-binding referendum, according to local media reports.
Kosovo Interior Minister Bajram Rexhepi said that police are preparing an operational plan to prevent Serbia from organising the vote, and said they will co-ordinate with EULEX and KFOR.
"While Serbia claims [it will] hold elections, we should be ready to react, not just on Election Day. [Kosovo] should use all democratic means … [to] stop the entry of unauthorised persons and materials relating to elections," Rexhepi told Radio Television of Kosovo.
He said that if the Serbian groups try to organize electoral meetings, the peacekeeping forces could not stand idly by.
Serbia says it has a constitutional obligation to hold elections in Kosovo, which declared independence four years ago. More than 80 nations recognise Kosovo.
Gerard Gallucci, former UN regional administrator for Mitrovica and member of the advisory board of Transconflict, told SETimes that Pristina should hold the elections in Kosovo.
"It would be wiser for Kosovo, and perhaps better for everyone, if Pristina did not obsess over these elections. It has the option of simply dismissing their legality and importance while standing back and taking the high road," Gallucci said.
He said the elections could be prevented in southern Kosovo, but not in northern Kosovo. The failed effort to stop the vote would deepen the division and underscore that Pristina has no real influence in the north.
"Certainly the use of force to stop elections in southern Kosovo would most likely succeed. But it could lead to ugly incidents that would hardly make Kosovo look European. North of the Ibar River, the use of force would likely again be counterproductive. It would engender another crisis that would lead to resistance by the local Kosovo Serbs," he said.
Gallucci said the International community likely would not assist Pristina to prevent elections in the north, with the fear of causing a new crisis there.
Kosovo Centre for Governance and Public Policy head Arjeta Demiri told SETimes that the international community has an obligation to assist Pristina.
"It was the international community that has assured Pristina that Serbian elections will not be organised, and if the decision is taken to use police, then Kosovo police must be supported," Demiri said.
She said Pristina has limited ability to prevent elections in northern Kosovo.
"Because of the roadblock and the current situation in the north, it will be difficult to prevent the elections. Only KFOR has the ability to do that," Demiri said.
International Civilian Office spokesperson Christian Palme told SETimes that although legislation supports Serbia holding parliamentary elections in Kosovo, only Pristina can hold local elections there.
"As the resolution passed by the Assembly of Kosovo on the issue of Serbian elections states, Serbian citizens living in Kosovo -- in accordance with European practice - have the right to vote for parliamentary elections in Serbia.
"As for local elections … the only legitimate local elections in Kosovo are those organized by the government of Kosovo. The International Steering Group unequivocally called on Serbia [in January] to ensure that its local elections are not extended into Kosovo," Palme said.
This content was commissioned for SETimes.com.