Ruecker: No change in Serb municipalities

PRIŠTINA -- UNMIK chief Joachim Ruecker says he won't sign the results of the recent Kosovo elections in five Serb municipalities.

Joachim Ruecker (FoNet, archive)
Joachim Ruecker (FoNet, archive)

Ruecker said today that three municipalities in the north of Kosovo would continue to be run by the existing leaderships for the next six months, while Štrpce’s municipal president would be a Serb, and Novo Brdo’s an ethnic Albanian.

The five Kosovo municipalities in question are predominantly Serb. There was some doubt as to who would govern these municipalities given the Serb boycott of last month's local elections.

Announcing that he had confirmed and signed the results of official elections in Kosovo held on November 17, Ruecker said that he would not confirm the election results for the three northern municipalities, neither for the local assemblies, nor for municipal presidents.

This means that the current leaderships will continue to govern the municipalities in the north of Kosovo.

Ruecker decided to appoint a Serb as municipal president in the predominantly Serb-populated town of Štrpce, while in the municipality of Novo Brdo, he confirmed the election of a Democratic Alliance of Kosovo official.

According to the results, the Democratic Party of Kosovo finished first in the parliamentary elections with 37 deputies, followed by the Democratic Alliance of Kosovo with 22, the Alliance for New Kosovo with 13, the Democratic Alliance of Dardania with 11, and the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo with 10.

Serbs and other non Albanians will have 24 deputies in the Kosovo parliament.

Thaci to launch coalition talks

Hasim Thaci says that consultations regarding the formation of a new government will begin soon.

Thaci, whose Democratic Party of Kosovo (DPK) won the recent elections, said that the new government would most likely include officials from the Serb and other non-Albanian communities in order to maintain the multi-ethnic government that UNMIK and the international community see as a priority.

There are still no clear signals as to Thaci’s likely coalition partners, as far as Albanian parties are concerned.

There are two positions reserved for Serbs in the government. Because of an election boycott and pressure from Serbia, some of the most influential Serb officials in Kosovo have refused to join the government.

Four minority community parties recently formed a coalition in the hope of entering the government.

Serbian Strength Movement Vice President Dragomir Karić also expressed an interest in entering the government, adding that he would like to participate in a government dedicated to the return of refugees to Kosovo.