Kosovo held early parliamentary elections on 14 February 2021, for the third time in less than four years. Despite the short time for preparations and the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a free and fair competition for the elections. The overall turnout was higher than last time (45.5%) and Lëvizja Vetëvendosje had the most votes, with 48.17%. (The final turnout and results might change after the calculation of Out of Kosovo votes).
Viola von Cramon-Taubadel, Standing Rapporteur for Kosovo in the European Parliament, and Chief Observer for the 2019 early parliamentary elections commented on the results:
“I would like to congratulate to the winners of the elections and also for the whole country to organise these elections in an orderly manner in these unprecedented times. The pandemic did not make it possible to organise a full-fledged EU-Election Observation Mission (EOM), but instead with Expert Election Team and the European Office in Pristina and around 500 local observers on the ground, initial information suggests that elections went mostly in an orderly manner. The problems and difficulties regarding the diaspora votes are much regrettable and some decisions of the CEC made it impossible for many citizens to exercise their democratic rights.
The relatively high turnout, the transparent and inclusive environment are a success for the whole country. Right now, the new parliament shall form a new government, with a strong and stable majority in order to address a number of pressing issues in Kosovo. This will need to include a number of reforms in the economic and social spheres and clear governmental structures, including institutional framework to support the EU integration process. Since the last legislative elections in October 2019, none of our recommendations from the EOM has been implemented. In order to improve the electoral conditions, the work of reforms has to start as soon as possible.
Besides this, a new government will need to move forward to a European path, the government will need to continue the dialogue with Serbia, because without any agreement with Belgrade, long-term stability and European perspective are not going to be possible. The transatlantic community in Brussels and in Washington are ready to engage with the new, democratically elected leadership of Kosovo.”