In the elections in Kosovo/a, the party of PM Hashim Thaci has retained its plurality.
Thaci’s Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) has won 33.5%, while its former coalition partner Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), whose withdrawal precipitated this election, has won 23.6%. In 2007, these parties won 34.3% and 22.6%, respectively. So not much change.
On DW-TV, seen via Link TV, the following billboard caught my interest. I apologize for the poor quality; it is shot from a paused image on the DVR.
This is clearly (well, maybe “clearly” is not the right word) a billboard for the LDK. I assume it is showing all the candidates on the party’s list.
As far as I know, the electoral system continues to have a 100-seat district, with voters free to cast preference votes for up to 5 (earlier reports had said 10) candidates. It is unclear, from an earlier discussion at F&V, whether this is a fully open or a flexible list. In any case, the billboard shows 110 candidates, counting the party leader.
There are also another 20 seats, elected separately, for minorities. Ten of these are set aside for the Serb minority. However, voting was apparently sparse in Serb regions. (Maybe the billboard above shows 110 because it includes the 10 non-Serb minority candidates. Just speculating. Or it could simply be that parties may nominate more candidates than seats for the principal district.)
While I do not read Serbian, I know enough Cyrillic to know these signs call on Serbs to boycott the election. (Cognates help, too!)
This last photo is for the PDK and reminds us that, for the ethnic Albanian majority, the country is Kosova, not Kosovo.
The DW-TV report mentioned a new party that had come in third, with around 15%. From Balkan Insight, which has a regional (but not national) breakdown of the vote, it would seem that the third party is something called the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo(a?).
As an aside, I am always bemused at how many media outlets will declare that a party has “won” an election when it merely has the most seats–and nowhere near a majority. Of the first five hits in my Google News search, Voice of America, Xhinhua, eTaiwan News, and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty all had variations on Thaci or his party “winning.” Only Aljazeera (the one I linked to at the top) got it right: “Party of Hashim Thaci holds on most seats in parliament but fails to take majority amid allegations of ballot stuffing.”
Each of the stories mentions claims of fraud.