Ahead of the seventh extraordinary parliamentary elections in Kosovo scheduled for October 6, the Kosovo Serb political scene is divided over whether to participate in these elections, or not, while those willing to take a chance are confronted by the in so far major Kosovo Serb force – Srpska Lista. Such a political landscape seems rather confusing to the public. While one coalition of Serb parties – the „Koalicija Slobode“ (Coalition of Freedom) has already registered for the elections, the deadline for submitting individual lists is still open, until September 6.
In the coming days, KoSSev will introduce a who is who in this Kosovo Serb political landscape. Here we present GI SDP: A civic initiative which has not yet decided whether they will participate in these parliamentary elections, assessing that there are no conditions for free elections.
The GI SDP „Oliver Ivanovic“ is still a civic initiative. For 19 months now, the file containing the documentation for its registration as a political party has been „standing ready“ for Ivanovic’s associates to decide to register it. The documentation was supposed to be handed over to the CEC on the day Oliver Ivanovic was killed. Ivanovic himself worked on this months after the most difficult and fateful elections for this group of Kosovo Serbs.
Whether they will now fulfill their leader’s wish depends on whether they will decide to participate in the upcoming Kosovo extraordinary parliamentary ballot. The decision has not yet been reached, however, and the deadline ends on Friday.
„We have divided opinions between those who advocate participation and those who think that at the moment there are no conditions for free elections. We have held two meetings where we discussed this and we will decide by Friday,“ the GI SDP councilor, Ksenija Bozovic told KoSSev.
The party overcame several hardships so far, struck by the assassination of their leader, but also a few more: several of its senior officials switched parties and joined Srpska Lista, where some of them also hold high, or even higher, posts, such as Igor Simic, Jasmina Dedic, Dejan Guresic, etc. After the group and individual party-switching to Srpska Lista and before the assassination of Ivanovic, the GI SDP activists and sympathizers faced physical assaults, including car arson, pressures and intimidation of councilor candidates during the previous pre-election campaign.
Today, this initiative remains recognizable after certain individuals who have remained true to the ideas advocated by their leader. The GI SDP currently has three councilors in North Mitrovica Municipality Assembly and one in Ranilug. The GI SDP councilors in the North Mitrovica MA take a very active role during assembley sessions.
About GI SDP
The GI SDP was formed ahead of the first Kosovo elections in the north in 2013. Since then, they have regularly reacted to political events and processes, especially when it comes to the murder of Oliver Ivanovic, the investigation and the trial – which still has no conclusion.
The political activities of this initiative during Oliver Ivanovic’s three-years long imprisonment focused primarily on efforts to speak up on what they estimated to be a „politically-staged process“ and creating an initiative for Ivanovic to be released.
During the almost 12 months of Oliver Ivanovic’s practically provisional liberty and before his assassination, Ivanovic was the engine of political activities, meeting with officials and trying to renew the party’s infrastructure for the upcoming elections at the time. His campaigning was practically impossible as he was faced with media and political demonization while confronted by the powerful Srpska Lista, a physical attack against his private property and his coalition partner and a few more threats. Immediately after the elections in the fall 2017, he launched an initiative to rally Kosovo Serb political individuals, parties and initiatives from the north and south of the Ibar river – those most notably seen as an alternative to Srpska Lista in its current composition and structure.
Today, the GI SDP alerts public on the assassination date on the monthly basis, expressing their dismay over what is perceived as inactiveness and the investigation’s poor results. The most exposed in media is GI SDP Vice-President, Ksenija Bozovic, primarily those not under the control of the authorities and Srpska Lista.
Wherever and as much as we could, we were active and we reacted, whether the occasion was ugly, uncomfortable, or good. We’ve been reacting for the past 19 months, and before that – for three and a half years. As you can see, we reacted more because of the ugly and evil than we did because of the good things
During the last local assembly elections held in 2017, the GI SDP won 1,460 votes in total in the five municipalities they ran for elected office. Ivanovic himself received 1475 votes in the elections for the mayor of North Mitrovica that same year, which was just over 18% of the votes. He won them during a smear campaign led against him by the rival Srpska Lista and part of the Serbian state government and after a three and a half year long political marginalization – the time he spent imprisoned.
The GI SDP did not participate in the extraordinary elections for mayors of municipalities in the north held this year.
So far, this party has not participated in any parliamentary elections in Kosovo.
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