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Politics in Pristina

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Politics in Pristina

Pristina (Albanian: Prishtinë; Serbian: Приштина, Priština; Turkish: Priştine) is the capital city of Kosovo. In the preliminary results of the 2011 census the population of Pristina was numbered around 198,000.[1] The majority of population is Albanian, but there are also smaller communities including Bosniaks, Serbs, Romani and others. The surface of Pristina is 854 km². Pristina is known as the center of cultural, economical and political developments. Since 2014 the current Mayor is Shpend Ahmeti. The city is home of University of Pristina, Pristina International Airport, the Government Building and the Parliament of the Republic of Kosovo.

History (1990-1999)

After Kosovo and for the Parliament. The LDK won over 90%. Ibrahim Rugova was elected President. The Coordinative Party Council who consisted of most of the Kosovan-Albanian parties was formed in Kosovo after the political pluralism was allowed in late 1980s. The newly formed Parliament of Kosovo in 1992, did not function regularly because of the political conditions but it created the Commissions who would function as Ministries within Kosovo. The Commissions were: Commission for Education, Commission for Culture, Commission for Health, and the Commission for Solidarity. The Commission established a parallel governing-system, opened Albanian language schools and were recognised as a legitimate executive within the population. The funds needed for the organisation of the parallel system were raised from two sources: 3% a funding plan who was established from the Kosovo Government in Exile and from The Financial Council of Kosovo. Although formally they were elected the local nomenclature was almost non-existent because the competences were taken over by the Commissions which functioned as a form of national Government. The second elections were organised in 1998, but organisation was poor as the region had become subject to war since 1997.

Flickr - europeanpeoplesparty - EPP Congress Brussels 4–5 February 2004 (41)

History (post-1999)

Political parties in Pristina

Democratic League of Kosovo is the first major party in Kosovo who survived in the post-war political scene and held its composition. Formed in 1989 as the first democratic movement in Kosovo, LDK after the war was transformed into a right-wing party. Since the end of the war it has had a widespread support in Pristina. LDK governed the capital city from 2000 until 2013. PDK established as a party in 2000 is known as a successor of KLA thus its head figures derived from it. AAK established after the war as a coalition of five parties also is linked as a successor of KLA and was formed after the war in 2000. AKR, founded by Behxhet Pacolli a famous Kosovan entrepreneur in 2006, had the most successful campaign in Pristina in the 2009 elections, being the second party. VETËVENDOSJE!, initially a movement formed in 2004, transformed itself into a party in 2010 just before the national elections. VETËVENDOSJE! is known and declared as the only political subject in Kosovo with a left platform. In December 2013, VETËVENDOSJE! candidate Shpend Ahmeti was elected a Mayor. In the post-war political scene of Pristina a lot of parties and individes have presented their offer to the voters but except for these five parties (LDK, PDK, AAK, AKR, VETËVENDOSJE!) they have faded from the political spectrum.

Electoral trends

The support for LDK in Pristina was always on high numbers. Even after the support for LDK in other parts of Kosovo decreased dramatically, its electorate in Pristina remained on stable amount. On the other hand, the support of voters for PDK in other parts of Kosovo never reflected in the capital city. PDK failed to end LDK dominance in Pristina forcing the elections into ballotage just once, in 2007. In the 2007 elections PDK candidate Fatmir Limaj a war veteran and famous politician became the first and the last PDK candidate to enter the balotage race in which he was defeated by Isa Mustafa. In 2009 the AKR candidate, the businessman Vegim Gashi won 20 percent of the voters putting AKR in the political scene of Prishtinë with a solid electorate. Pristina governed the city from 2007 to 2013, also being selected as the head of LDK in 2010. However the support of LDK in Pristina got to a crucial point when the non satisfied voters voted massively for Shpend Ahmeti, the candidate of VETËVENDOSJE! therefore ending the LDK governance in Pristina for the first time. A turnaround during the last elections in Pristina was made when Pristina gathered around 2000 votes less in the second round, than a month earlier in the first round. Partia e Fortë was formed upon satirical premises in 2013 and its leader Visar Arifaj’s persona was based on several Kosovo political leaders. Partia e Fortë chose to deal with the issues that Kosovo was facing with humour and sarcasm. It was welcomed from the public opinion and won a seat in the City Council.[2]

Results of elections

2000

The national and local elections held in 2000 in Kosovo were the first democratic elections held after the war. The elections were expected with a massive support of the population and were seen as the first step of Kosovo. The elections took place on October and the number of participating voters was remarkably high. In Pristina LDK came out the first party collecting 65.2% of the votes. The second party was, at that time, the newly formed PDK with 20.8%.[3] The Mayor of Pristina was elected Salih Gashi who held the position until 2002. Berim Ramosaj was the executive head-chief from 2000-2002.

2002

The local 2002 elections were also organised by OSCE. The elections took place on October while the turnout in Kosovo was 54%.[4] The voting manner was applied through the proportional system with closed-lists. 1/3 of the members of the Assembly were elected on the gender basis. In Pristina LDK held its primate winning 54.46%. PDK had a slight increase gaining 24.97%. In 2002 nearly three years after the war, the competences of the Kosovan institutions had started to increase slightly. The new Mayor elected Ismet Beqiri at that time was 38 years old. Beqiri came from a suburb known as Kodra e Trimave, one of the biggest bastions of LDK in Pristina. He had to face the competition of a few other candidates within LDK to win the right to be the candidate of the party.

2007

The planned 2006 local elections were delayed for a year in order to be organised at the same time with the national elections. The local and national elections were held in November 2007 and were the last local elections to be orgarnised by OSCE. The 2007 elections provided dramatic changes in the political scene of Kosovo although in Pristina the political constellation remained pretty much the same. LDK came out as the first party in both rounds. In the first round LDK with Pristina won 36.05% of the votes while PDK candidate Fatmir Limaj collected 24.81%. The 2007 local elections were the first direct voting for the candidate elecions. Pristina was elected the Mayor in the ballotage defeating Fatmir Limaj and becoming the first Mayor of Pristina to be elected directly by the voters. The result was 58.2% against 41.8%.[5]

The 2007 results

2009

The 2009 local elections were held on November. The elections were announced after the President of LDK continued the dominance who now had won the capital city for the fourth consecutive time. Mustafa was re-elected as a Mayor winning in the first round with 57.22%. His second rival, Vegim Gashi of AKR collected 22.29%.[6]

2013

The 2013 local elections were the first elections organised afer Kosovo ended Supervised Independence on 2012. The outcome brought dramatic changes of Mayors in most of the municipalities of Kosovo. In Pristina the first round of the elections held in November saw Pristina of LDK as the first with 42.75%. Shpend Ahmeti of VETËVENDOSJE! held the second place with 31.89%. The second round however saw a U-turn in the voting results with Ahmeti being elected as a Mayor hence becoming the first non-LDK Mayor in Pristina after the war. Ahmeti defeated Mustafa with 51% to 49% and executed his oath in early 2014. During the oath he brought the national flag of Albania.[7]

The Mayor of Pristina

Competences and responsibilities of the Mayor

Until [10]

The Mayor as an urban figure

Pristina being the capital city influences the politics, culture and economic aspects of the whole country. The Mayor of Pristina is one of the most influential political figures in Kosovo as well as serving as an urban figure through the youth of the city. Kosovo is known for having the youngest population in Europe with an average of 25 years old.[11] While Ismet Beqiri was a Mayor he played a role by singing a short verse with the group “Aurora” in 2004.[12] Prihtina the Mayor of Pristina for two mandates, during his second mandate in 2010 rose to head of LDK, the second largest party in Kosovo.[13] Mustafa also established himself as one of the leaders of the country in the opposition ranks and did so through his position as a Mayor. However Mustafa has been often criticised for his distance from the voters especially for the lack of communication with the youth.[14] In the last elections in 2013 Shpend Ahmeti, a professor of Economics, gathered most of the youth of Pristina around his campaign also due to the fact that he was nearly 30 years younger than Isa Mustafa. His team and staff consisted of young people and Ahmeti delivered a more modern public image, presenting himself closer to the voters. A lot of young people chose to volunteer in his meetings therefore his campaign in general represented a novelty in Kosovan politics in general.[15] Ahmeti promised to go to work by public transport in order to save money from the use of expensive official cars and has been doing so until now.[16]

The Assembly functions

The election form

The 2000 and 2002 elections were organised with a different voting system. In the 2000 elections the voting was framed through open-lists. The parties chose the candidates for their list. The OSCE. Each election process has been observed by many international organisations and has been followed by reports with the welfare of the elections.

Current composition of the City Council

The City Council of Pristina consists of 51 members. 1/3 of the members have to be women according to 2010 approved Statue of the Municipality. The City Council has seen LDK having most members in all elections held until now. In the 2013 elections, although LDK candidate Mustafa lost to Shpend Ahmeti, LDK won 18 seats in Assembly with VETËVENDOSJE! with 10. PDK followed with 8 seats and AKR with 4.[17] Current head of the City Council is Halim Halimi from LDK.[18] In February 2014 the City Council after a heated debated, voted in majority part an act which would mean selling the official car of the Municipality in order to decrease the distance between the politicians and the population.[19]

Notable information

Current issues

Ahmeti was faced with criticism on the first days in the office after he wrote a letter to The Ministry of Local Government Administration regarding an answer about the use of state symbols.[20] In VETËVENDOSJE! movement exists a strong disapproval for Kosovo’s symbols and even form of stateship. VETËVENDOSJE! considers these symbols as non-legitimate hence it considers the symbols of Republic of Albania as the only ones representative.[21] The Ministry of Local Government Administration returned the letter pointing that the law clarifies the way the symbols should be used in public institutions.[22] Ahmeti decided to keep the Kosovan flag but also added the Albanian flag in the his office.[23] One of the main issues in Pristina is the lack of useful water which is manifested with long and heavy reductation. Ahmeti has promised to solve the problem within two years. The Pristina Municipality also faces problem with loaded administration, public transport, illegal construction, corruption, nepotism and clientelism.[24]

Batllava Lake

See also

Bibliography

Bibliography: Dushi,Florian(2013). Sprova e zgjedhjeve në Kosovë. Prishtinë: Libri Shkollor. ISBN 978-9951-07-951-8

Berisha, Ibrahim (2013): Utopia Reale, Prishtinë, OM.

References

  1. ^ http://esk.rks-gov.net/rekos2011/repository/docs/REKOS%20LEAFLET%20ALB%20FINAL.pdf
  2. ^ http://reporteri.net/?page=1,2,12101
  3. ^ http://www.Kosovo/20464
  4. ^ http://www.Kosovo/20467
  5. ^ http://www.kqz-ks.org/Uploads/Documents/kryetarekomune2_xglmknoydj.pdf
  6. ^ http://www.kqz-ks.org/Uploads/Documents/results_by_municipality_abncbrbtrb.pdf
  7. ^ http://www.zeri.info/artikulli/23754/betohet-shpend-[Ahmeti]-foto
  8. ^ http://kk.rks-gov.net/Prishtina/Municipality/President.aspx
  9. ^ http://www.gazetajnk.com/?cid=1,1018,3313
  10. ^ http://kk.rks-gov.net/Prishtina/getattachment/Home/STATUTI-i-Komunes-se-Prishtinës-1--(2).pdf.aspx
  11. ^ http://www.invest-ks.org/repository/docs/Top10IPAK2012_173108.pdf
  12. ^ http://lajmi.net/dueti-aurora-ismeti
  13. ^ http://www.botasot.info/speciale/86719/qYzLnhl/
  14. ^ http://www.skykosova.com/isa-konfirmon-nuk-te-merr-pjese-ne-debate-deri-ne-fund-te-fushates/
  15. ^ http://www.gazetatribuna.com/?FaqeID=2&LajmID=28521
  16. ^ http://www.gazetatema.net/web/2013/12/27/foto-lajm-shpend-Ahmeti-shkon-ne-pune-me-autobus/
  17. ^ http://www.kqz-ks.org/Uploads/Documents/Rezultatet%20sipas%20Komunave%20-%20Zgjedhjet%20Lokale%202013_xwmxwwoapy.pdf
  18. ^ http://www.zeri.info/artikulli/25226/halimi-kryesues-i-asamblese-komunale-te-Prishtinës
  19. ^ http://time.ikub.al/5653e5a579/85799cbd410c2ed0af5a5a555a89fe74/Lajm_Miratohet-shitja-e-makines-Audi-Q7.aspx
  20. ^ http://www.vetevendosje.org/news_post/leter-ministrit-te-administrimit-dhe-pushtetit-lokal-nga-shpend-Ahmeti/
  21. ^ http://www.botasot.info/kosova/211472/vetevendosje-injoron-himnin-e-kosoves
  22. ^ http://www.telegrafi.com/lajme/shpend-[Ahmeti]-merr-pergjigjen-per-vendosjen-e-flamurit-2-39969.html
  23. ^ http://time.ikub.al/6f6e0be3a8/87cd83e2b9a1e85faee58f2b27ff8c39/Lajm_Shpendi-S-i-largoj-simbolet-shteterore-nga-Komuna.aspx
  24. ^ http://gazetajnk.com/?cid=1,1018,6575
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