On Sunday 8 June general elections will be held in Kosovo, following an early dissolution of parliament on 7 May. Parliament fell after interethnic bickering let to a legislative stalemate. The Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) of ruling Prime Minister Hashim Thaci is expected to win. The new government faces many challenges; foremost are a haltering economy, the strengthening of the fledgling government and judiciary and the integration of the ethnic Serbs.
On Saturday 31 May the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) and the European Forum for Democracy and Solidarity held an expert meeting about the legitimacy of the EU and increasing civil engagement in order to revitalize the EU enlargement process. Researchers, academics and political foundations met in the Serbian capital of Belgrade to discuss these topics as part of the research program ‘Enhancing democracy pre and post EU accession - Citizens’ Europe’.
For the second night in a row, hundreds of Ethnic Macedonians, predominantly youth, clashed with police on the streets of the Macedonian capital Skopje. On the night of 20-21 six police officers were injured and 27 people got arrested. The riots broke out after the alleged murder of an ethnic 19-year-old Macedonian student by an ethnic Albanian on 19 May.
On 27 April dual elections took place in Macedonia. The opposition does not accept the results and refuses to take seat in parliament. These parties further boycotted the inauguration of president Gjorge Ivanov on 12 May and were absent at the ceremonial handing of Members of Parliament certificates on 7 May.
In het weekend van 9 tot 11 mei organiseerde Foundation Max van der Stoel in samenwerking met Centre of Modern Skills (CMV) – NGO verbonden aan de Democratische Partij (DS) – een training gericht op het bevorderen van de positie van etnische minderheden binnen de partij. FMS trainers Samir Španja en Brahim Abid reisden naar Servië af om de training te verzorgen.
In a country gripped by political deadlock, politicians of the Bosniak-Croat Federation (FBiH) entity adopted a set of anti-corruption laws, aimed at establishing specific law-enforcement bodies to tackle organized crime. Some critics say the new law shows Bosnia and Herzegovina is starting to overcome its political difficulties, others say the law is a show of decisiveness for the October general elections.
Kosovo’s National Assembly agreed on 6 May to dissolve parliament on 7 May. 90 representatives voted to dissolve the 120-seat parliament. The decision to dissolve the national assembly came after Members of Parliament failed to reach agreement on two key issues: the transformation of the existing Kosovo Security Forces into the Kosovo Armed Forces and reserved seats for ethnic minorities in parliament. Parliamentary leaders were unable to reach an agreement about the political deadlock and thus voted to dissolve parliament. Parliamentary elections were scheduled for September 2014 but are now to take places on Sunday 8 June.
Yesterday 27 April, dual elections were held in Macedonia. The country went to the ballot boxes for the second round of the presidential elections and early parliamentary elections. The ruling conservative coalition, ‘For better Macedonia’ (VMRO-DPMNE and DUI), claims victory as the opposition refuses to accept the results due to irregularities. The preliminary results suggest the ruling coalition retains a government majority.
On April 6th, about a hundred ethnic Albanians staged a protest in Tuzi, a suburb of the capital Podgorica where this group forms the majority. During the gathering, the group pressed demands for Tuzi to become a separate municipality.
Tuzla Canton is the first in Bosnia and Herzegovina to get a new government since the mass protests that started in February forced four cantonal governments to resign. Members of Tuzla Canton's new government held their first meeting on 27 March after the cantonal assembly confirmed their posts the night before.