The OSCE communicated that they are ready for the Serbian parliamentary and presidential elections to be held in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija, and that they do not expect major problems since all relevant factors, including KFOR and EULEX, have agreed upon all details. Vukomir Petric has more.
Ballots and associated materials for the Serbian parliamentary and presidential elections were transported to Kosovo, accompanied by the OSCE. Under an agreement with Serbian authorities, this organization will be involved in the voting process and security, but will not take any part whatsoever in the vote counting process.
According to OSCE spokesman Nikola Gaon, the elections are to be held in adherence with Resolution 1244, and all parties, including the Republic Electoral Commission, agreed upon the format.
The OSCE specified that it does not handle the entire organization of the elections, but only one aspect of the process. "We will deliver materials to polling stations and people will be enabled to vote even after the polls close, but then we will transport the election materials to two locations, Vranje and Raska. Our role ends there," said a Gaon. He added that all preparations have been completed in timely fashion, so that each of 90 polling stations will be attended by five members of electoral committees that will have a contract with the OSCE. The polling stations will not bear any markings other than those of the OSCE, while voting-related materials will bear official symbols of the Serbian state. The OSCE believe that there should be no security problems. "We are cooperating with all the factors and agencies involved in security, including KFOR and EULEX, who support this way of conducting elections in Kosovo and Metohija, and we have made a joint plan so that all should go well," said Gaon.
He warned that the OSCE reserves the right to withdraw if all parties do not comply with the agreed principles. "This organization will not be involved in any local elections and cannot be held responsible for something someone else might act independently of us," Gaon says.
The right to vote on May 6 will be exercised in Kosovo and Metohija by 109.000 voters at 90 polling stations in 28 centers. For the purpose of the elections, the OSCE hired some 500 coordinators, who received a basic training.