Vote count for northern Kosovo yet to begin

Roberto Gualtieri said on Tuesday that the vote count for polling stations in the four municipalities in northern Kosovo and Metohija has not begun yet.

Source: Tanjug
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Gualtieri is chief observer of the EU Election Observation Mission.

The election materials are in Priština, and our job is to monitor and analyze the process. In relation to that, the Central Electoral Commission should assess the situation and deliver a decision, Gualtieri said at a press conference.

The EU Election Observation Mission condemns the attacks on the three polling stations in northern Kosovska Mitrovica, Gualtieri said, underlining that the attempts at sabotage failed.

The EU mission assessed positively the electoral process in Kosovo, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) offered key assistance to the process, despite great challenges, he said.

Gualtieri said that local elections stemmed from the EU-facilitated agreement that Belgrade and Pristina reached on April 19.

When asked about the role of Belgrade, Gualtieri said again this was the first time that local elections were held in the entire territory of Kosovo, and that a part of the agreement has been implemented.

However, he underscored that the trust in the veracity of electoral rolls was diminished.

Gualtieri said that the EU Election Observation Mission will also be in Kosovo during the run-off vote set for December 1, and that it will monitor the entire process, and publish a final report on elections at the beginning of 2014.

The media ensured comprehensive coverage of the campaign, gave candidates an opportunity to get their messages across and provided voters with various information on the campaign, he said, but noted that the Radio-Television of Kosovo clearly favored the ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo led by Hashim Thaci.

Meanwhile, Kosovo Central Election Commission President Valdeta Daka said on Tuesday that the verification of ballots from northern Kosovo municipalities, where incidents were reported during the voting on Sunday, would begin during the day.

She told RFE that the material from Leposavić, Zubin Potok, Zvečan and northern Kosovska Mitrovica "needs to be verified, since due to the situation in that part of Kosovo it was not possible to count them in municipal elections commissions."

Members of election committees from those areas should be present during the verification. If they do not show up, the election commission has the right to replace them.

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