LIVE: Kosovo Snap Elections 2017
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Up to the minute news and updates from the Balkan region

LIVE: Kosovo Snap Elections 2017

Stay tuned for all the latest developments, election results and reactions as Kosovo goes to the polls to elect a new government.

    Kosovo MP candidates went head-to-head on foreign affairs for BIRN Kosovo’s #DebatPernime series last week. Read our summary of what MP hopefuls said about border demarcation with Montenegro, the Brussels-facilitated dialogue with Serbia, and potential creation of Kosovo’s standing army.



    The US Ambassador to Kosovo Greg Delawie congratulated Kosovo's Central Election Commission, CEC, for organising successful general elections today. With the exception of minor incidents, the election process has proceeded smoothly. Polls will close at 7pm.
    Kosovo Police officers escorted a party-affiliated observer to the police station in the town of Suhareka in the Prizren district in the country’s south after he accepted five euros from an unknown party. The incident was confirmed by Admir Shala, the chief prosecutor at the Basic Prosecution in Prizren.
    Kosovo Police detained a person in Prizren, southern Kosovo, after he tried to take a photo of his ballot paper.

    The incident was confirmed by Admir Shala, prosecutor at the Basic Prosecution in Prizren, who told BIRN that the suspect was alleged to have recorded the vote in order to receive a certain amount of money.

    Shala said that the arrested voter was released after being questioned, because the suspect only attempted to take a photo.
    The exit poll from Klan Kosova says that the coalition between the Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK, the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, AAK, and the Initiative for Kosovo, NISMA has finished in first place with 40 per cent of the vote, while in a surprising turn of events, Vetevendosje has come second with 30 per cent.
    In third place, the coalition between the Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, the New Kosovo Alliance, AKR, and Alternative have taken 27 per cent of the vote.
    Presenting the results, the head of the research team Shkelzen Maliqi, added a disclaimer that the survey might not be absolutely accurate and there is a 1.5 per cent margin of error.
    “The exit polls can be absolutely true, half true, or even completely wrong,” Maliqi said.
    Ramush Haradinaj, the candidate for Prime Minister of the PDK-AAK-NISMA coalition, which exit polls show as the winner of today’s snap election, gave a press conference after the polling stations were closed.
    “First I congratulate Kosovo citizens, all mechanisms, all parties for truly fair elections. I respect the sovereign for a clear decision, the trust has been given to PDK-AAK-NISMA,” he said. “The victory is convincing, more convincing than the exit polls.
    Photo: Visar Kryeziu/AP.
    Isa Mustafa, former PM and the head of the Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, reacted to the exit polls published by Klan Kosova.
    “We believe that the last survey is entirely untrue. It’s a survey ordered by the other parties. The ballot boxes are the only survey. We shouldn’t have biases about the results before votes are counted. 
    “The coalition partners should stay calm because the results will be entirely different, they will be an expression of the citizens’ will. The will of citizens cannot be changed by any organization, especially one that is politically biased, especially not from one who in the past has had entirely inaccurate results.”
    “We call on citizens and the media to not fall prey to an irresponsible survey that aims to damage an election process which until now has been fair and transparent. We calmly await for the results, which will indubitably declare LDK, or the right-center coalition, as the winner.”
    Mustafa voting. | Photo: LDK Media
    During a press conference of the opposition movement Vetevendosje, its officials stated that it has doubled its popularity.

    “We have 33-34 per cent of votes, which means we are the first entity in Kosovo where citizens decided for changes that will be done by Vetevendosje,” said Dardan Sejdiu, deputy mayor of Pristina and the organisation secretary of Vetevendosje.

    Former MP of Vetevendosje Albulena Haxhiu stated that Vetevendosje was mobilized “to protect the will of citizens from the coalition of panic”, referring to the biggest coalition between PDK-AAK-NISMA, which exit polls show took 40 per cent of the vote, finishing in first place.

    Albulena Haxhiu and Dardan Sejdiu during a press conference 

    Kosovo President Hashim Thaci congratulates Kosovo on fair and just elections.
    PDK leader Kadri Veseli also took to Twitter to congratulate the Kosovo citizens.
    Both the Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK, and Vetevendosje have announced victory parties to be held in the center of Prishtina tonight. PDK will be celebrating at Skanderbeg square, while Vetevendosje announced a party at 10:30 pm at Zahir Pajaziti Square.
    On his official Facebook profile, LDK-AKR-Alternativa PM candidate Avdullah Hoti writes, “Dear commissioners, observers and devout LDK members, please continue with your sacred work of counting and protecting the votes of citizens. Only you know the will of the citizens. Yours, Avdullah Hoti.”
    Avdullah Hoti during LDK press conference after exit poll results. | Photo: Atdhe Mulla.

    At an LDK press conference, Florian Dushi, acting deputy minister of justice and LDK member, commented on Klan Kosova’s exit poll, which puts the LDK-AKR-Alternativa coalition behind both the PDK-AAK-NISMA coalition and Vetevendosje.


    “The turnout was satisfactory, so far 10,000 more voters than in the last elections. Exit polls were organized unprofessionally. We believe that the will of the people is different from the results of the exit polls. It is not the first time that we see parties who celebrate prematurely. We will wait for the end of the process,” he said.

    Although voting was to close at 7pm, some polling stations remained open after the cut-off time to allow people who were still waiting in queues to cast their ballots.

    The counting is underway, with the Central Election Commission having announced that as soon as they collect the data from the polling stations, they will publish the preliminary results of the election.

    Polling station in Kosovo on Sunday | Photo: BIRN

    Democracy in Action, DnV, a coalition of NGOs monitoring the Kosovo general elections, published its preliminary results based on 30 per cent of Kosovo’s polling stations:
    PAN coalition: 36 per cent
    LAA coalition: 26.2 per cent
    Vetevendosje: 24.7 per cent
    Srpska Lista: 3.5 per cent.
    DnV graph.
    Democracy in Action, DnV, a coalition of NGOs monitoring the elections, published preliminary results based on 52.17 per cent of the Kosovo polling stations:
    PAN coalition 35.7 per cent
    LAA coalition 25.8 per cent
    Vetevendosje 25.6 per cent
    Srpska Lista: 3.6 per cent
    With 65.02 per cent polling stations counted, Democracy in Action preliminary results list:
    PAN coalition with 34.6 per cent 
    Vetevendosje 26.2  per cent
    LDK-AKR-Alternativa 25.8 per cent
    Srpska Lista 3.9 % per cent 
    Others 9.5. per cent.
    At 70 per cent of the polling stations counted, Democracy in Action reports preliminary results:
    PAN coalition  34.2  per cent
    LAA (LDK-AKR-Alternativa) coalition 25.8 per cent
    Vetevendosje 26.3 per cent 
    Srpska  Lista (GISL) 4.2 per cent
    Others 9.5 per cent
    According to Democracy in Action, with 87.31 per cent of the polling stations counted, preliminary results rank:
    PAN coalition 33 per cent
    Vetevendosje 26.6 per cent
    LAA coalition 25.3 per cent 
    Srpska Lista 4.8 per cent
    Others 10.1 % per cent.

    Prishtina is ablaze with party supporters: at Zahir Pajaziti square hundreds of Vetevendosje supporters have gathered, singing and waving the Albanian flag.


    Photo: Atdhe Mulla.

    Meanwhile, at the other end of the Nene Tereza boulevard, only a dozen PDK supporters have started gathering for the festivities expected to begin at midnight.

    Photo: Atdhe Mulla


    While CEC has yet to announce official election results, the main ‘war wing’ coalition and opposition party Vetevendosje are celebrating their results in central Prishtina, less than 500 meters apart from each other. 
    With CEC having counted less than 50 per cent of the votes, it is too early to declare the ultimate election winner.
    According to election observer group Democracy in Action, DnV, the PDK-AAK-NISMA coalition is leading with 33 per cent, while Vetevendosje is ranked second with 26.6 per cent, and LDK-AKR-Alternativa third with 25.3 per cent.

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    Kosovo citizens celebrating in Pristina | Photo: Atdhe Mula 
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