Kosovo Early Assembly Elections 2021 Final Report and Recommendations: UK Election Expert Mission

Kosovo Early Assembly Elections 2021 Final Report and Recommendations: UK Election Expert Mission

On 14 February 2021, a snap election took place in Kosovo. The short timeframe for holding the elections, the political and judicial controversies that led to it, and Covid-19 meant that the electoral system was under pressure. Due to the pandemic, the presence of international observers was limited, and domestic observers were also forced to reduce their presence. These circumstances presented potential challenges to the acceptance of the legitimacy of the results and the identification of technical improvements required in future elections.

In partnership with the British Embassy in Pristina, WFD deployed a team of four international election experts and three national advisers to analyse the electoral process. The expert mission operated from 25 January to 19 March 2021. This report presents their findings and recommendations.

Key findings

Despite the challenges, the election was regarded by many as among the least problematic held so far in the country. Some of the key findings were as follows:

  • The elections, which were won by Lëvizja Vetëvendosje (Self-Determination Movement) are considered a turning point. For the first time, a government has been elected which does not include either of the two traditional major parties, LDK (Lidhja Demokratike e Kosovës, Democratic League of Kosovo) and PDK (Partia Demokratike e Kosovës, Democratic Party of Kosovo);
  • There were concerns about the continued one-party dominance of Srpska Lista (SL) in the Kosovo-Serb community and an attempt by SL to use proxies to secure seats reserved for other non-majority communities;
  • Procedures for out-of-country registration and voting are in need of reform;
  • Some decisions of the Central Election Commission, in part due to ambiguity in the Law on General Elections, were seen as politicised and subject to criticism from key politicians; and,
  • Health regulations in place to curb the spread of Covid-19 were largely ignored by political parties during their campaigns and on election day.