The day after the elections: Who are the winners and who are the losers?

Aljbin Kurti
Foto: Fejsbuk stranica Lëvizja VETËVENDOSJE!

According to preliminary results without conditional votes, after yesterday’s seventh extraordinary parliamentary elections, the five majority parties – Self-Determination, LDK, PDK, AAK and PSD – will be conducting the legislative agenda in the seventh convocation of Kosovo Assembly. The leader of Self-Determination, Albin Kurti is most likely to be the next Kosovo Prime Minister, while the biggest losers of the election are the former Kosovo Prime Minister, Ramush Haradinaj and from the Kosovo Serbian parties – the Independent Liberal Party (SLS).

Speaking about the Kosovo Serb parties, the absolute winner of this Kosovo election is the Srpska Lista party. This party has achieved its goal and won 10 out of 10 parliamentary seats reserved for the Serbian community and will be the only Serbian parliamentary party in the next Assembly of Kosovo (unless something changes when votes are officially counted, including votes by mail and conditional votes).

Additionally, Srpska Lista won more votes this year than in the previous election cycle, while the SLS’s votes reduced by half. This Kosovo Serb party, which has the longest experience on the Kosovo political scene, has lost its parliamentary seat – a scenario that could possibly be avoided by uniting all Srpska Lista’s opposition parties into one coalition.

On the other hand, for the first time in the history of its political activity, Srpska Lista, after winning 98% of the votes in Serb-majority communities, will take all 10 seats in the Assembly of Kosovo.

In power for the first time, the opposition for the first time

After these elections, two significant novelties await the Kosovo political scene. For the first time, the Self-Determination movement will have the opportunity, with 25% of the votes cast, to secure the required simple majority in the Assembly and form a government. Also, for the first time, a party with the longest history in power on the Kosovo political scene, the PDK will become the opposition. In fact, according to the PDK leader’s announcement, this party will certainly keep track of new political developments in Kosovo as an opposition party.

„Along with the PDK, I worked hard to win this election, but we still didn’t win. The citizens have spoken their minds and we accept that. The PDK is moving into opposition, but we continue to serve the people and the state“ – the PDK leader, Kadri Veseli admitted defeat at a press conference last night, Pristina-based Kallxo reported.

The PDK won 21% of the votes in this election.

The Self-Determination leader, Albin Kurti was far more satisfied with the election results. Kosovo President, Hashim Thaci will likely have to offer Kurti the post of the new Kosovo Prime Minister.

„On October 6th 2019, a third enthusiasm began (some media outlets, such as Gazeta Express cite ‘liberation’) for our country and for our people. The first was liberation in 1999, the second was the declaration of independence in 2008, and now October 2019 is the third liberation. The new wave will strengthen our republic and provide development and equality to all of you. Today you voted to save our country from enslavement, and did not allow this enslavement drama to have a tragic end. We are opening a new chapter with white pages and a warm heart. There are no governesses in our government. We will fight against thieves, investigate, judge and condemn them wherever they are,“ he said at the celebration of the Self-Determination’s victory, Koha reported.

The biggest losers

On the other hand, although he refused to acknowledge defeat, the biggest loser of this election is the former Kosovo Prime Minister, Ramush Haradinaj.

The coalition of AAK and Shpend Ahmeti’s PSD received only 11% of the votes – far less than what the most optimistic electoral polls predicted.

The former Kosovo prime minister, whose resignation in July this year led to these early elections, failed to capitalize on the political popularity he seemingly gained after imposing the 100% tax on the import of goods from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and later after receiving a summons by the Special War Crimes Tribunal to testify as a suspect.

Haradinaj, however, said last night that he does not regret the decision to resign, adding that he is convinced that it was the right move.

Favorites take the second place

In addition to the fact that the results of these elections likely turned the parties of the war wing into the opposition, the elections also brought another novelty to Kosovo’s political scene – the first female candidate for prime minister.

A prime minister candidate from the ranks of the LDK party – a party that had a slight advantage over the Self-Determination in pre-election polls, Vjosa Osmani also lost that advantage by just over 5,000 votes, according to preliminary results. Osmani, however, declined to declare the winner before the conditional votes and voices from the diaspora are counted.

„We agree that it is not possible to declare a winner tonight and we will wait for all the votes to be counted. As things stand, the ultimate result will be determined by the diaspora’s votes and conditional votes,“ Osmani said at a media conference, Koha reported.

A post-election coalition of the LDK and Self-Determination likely to happen

The two parties that won the highest number of votes in this election, Self-Determination and the LDK, were close to forming a pre-election coalition. Negotiations have failed not so much because of their ideological differences but because of both parties’ estimates that they enjoy the highest support of voters, and that they, therefore, are entitled to the prime minister’s post.

In a close race, Kurti still took the number one spot. Although he will have the advantage of choosing coalition partners, the difference in the number of votes is so small that it may not even reflect the number of seats these parties have won.

According to preliminary results, depending on whether the NISMA-AKR coalition will surpass the threshold after the final results are announced, Self-determination can win 28, or 31 seats respectively, while LDK can win 28 or 30 seats. This means that if NISMA-AKR remain below the threshold, the potential post-election coalition of Self-determination and the LDK can form a government on its own with 61 votes.

The Kosovo Assembly has 120 deputies, and a simple majority or 61 MPs votes are required to form a government.

Both Self-Determination and LDK expressed a willingness to cooperate. Osmani also said last night that she is ready to discuss a future government with Self-Determination.

Srpska Lista in the Government of Self-determination?

According to the Kosovo Constitution, in a government of 12 ministries, the Serbian community is entitled to at least one minister, who must be approved by a majority of members of minority communities.

This means that despite Kurti’s statements that he would not cooperate with Srpska Lista, as the Prime Minister-designate, he will have no choice but to appoint a Serbian minister in cooperation with Srpska Lista. So even though Srpska Lista is not part of the coalition government, its candidate will hold at least one cabinet position in a possible government of Albin Kurti.

Read more:

Kosovo 2019 parliamentary elections in numbers

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