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CrisisWatch Database

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583 results found
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Macedonia

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged

Agreement between four main political parties reached 15 July, in step to end political crisis around alleged widespread illegal surveillance by govt. EU-mediated deal stipulates resignation of PM Gruevski by Jan 2016, interim govt to be sworn in, parliamentary elections in April 2016. Opposition 21 July said govt cancelled follow-up meeting on implementing reforms, accused it of stalling. Skopje court 1 July ruled trial of opposition leader Zoran Zaev for attempting to blackmail Gruevski should proceed. Member of ethnic Albanian party Democratic Union for Integration shot dead in Kumanovo 24 July; local party head surrendered to police, claimed self-defence.

Kosovo

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged

Ethnic Serb MPs 20 July blocked law on creation of Kosovo army. Violent incidents in Serb village Goraždevac 8-9 July: two cars shot at, Molotov cocktail thrown at monument to Serb victims of war. Parliament 23 July passed resolution requesting probe into alleged corruption in EULEX mission. Authorities 11 July cut water supply in Pristina citing “security issues” following arrest of five suspects reportedly linked to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL), accused of planning to poison reservoir. Police 7 July arrested man suspected of taking part in May shootout in Kumanovo, Macedonia.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged

Republika Srpska (RS) legislative assembly 15 July voted to hold referendum on authority of national courts and Office of High Representative (OHR) over ethnic Serbs; OHR, U.S. criticised decision, Bosniak delegates to RS assembly 23 July vetoed referendum. Govt 27 July adopted reform plan required for progress on EU integration; thousands protested 30 July against labour law passed as part of reforms. During 11 July commemoration of 1995 killing of over 7,000 Bosniak men and boys by Serbs in Srebrenica, some mourners attacked Serbian PM Vučić; Bosnian and Serbian leaders meeting 22 July pledged cooperation despite attack. Russia 8 July vetoed UNSC resolution calling 1995 Srebrenica killings “genocide”.

Macedonia

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

Amid ongoing political crisis centred on apparent mass illegal surveillance by govt, EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn helped broker 2 June agreement between govt and opposition to advance elections by two years, to April 2016, preceded by transitional period to prepare for polls. Negotiations subsequently deadlocked over details, including whether/when PM Gruevski would resign. Opposition insists he must go and transitional government have six-nine months to level electoral playing field and threatened to “radicalise” protests if no agreement reached by end of month. EU 19 June issued expert report on crisis, urging rule-of-law reforms, backed by EU Council 23 June. Opposition continued to release selective recordings, including some suggesting involvement in corruption of govt’s ethnic-Albanian partner party, as pressure grows on that party to leave coalition if no agreement by end of June. Greek FM visited Skopje 24 June, part of attempt to rekindle relations despite name dispute which has blocked Macedonia’s EU accession progress.

Kosovo

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

Parliamentary vote on proposal to establish court to try alleged Kosovo Liberation Army war crimes failed to pass 26 June; U.S., EU expressed disappointment. Latest round of Pristina-Belgrade dialogue late month failed to produce agreement.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

Ruling coalition of Federation entity broke up 4 June as Democratic Front quit over change in rules on appointments of new managers for public companies. Federation 9 June adopted reform plan, part of reform agenda required for progress on EU integration and external financing, however Republika Srpska leaders refused to sign plan.

Macedonia

  |  1 Jun 2015

Deteriorated

Against backdrop of deepening political crisis, shootout between police and gunmen prompted increasing concern over stability. Eight police and ten gunmen killed and almost 40 injured 9-10 May in Kumanovo, ethnically mixed town 40km north of Skopje, in region that saw heavy fighting during 2001 insurgency. Authorities said operation responded to information on “armed group” that “infiltrated” from neighbouring state planning “terrorist acts”; said some gunmen were involved in April seizing of police station. Slain included one ethnic Albanian, nine Kosovars. 30 people charged with terrorism-related offences, including eighteen Kosovo, eleven Macedonian, one Albanian nationals. UN, NATO and EU urged calm. Opposition accused govt of using operation to create diversion from wire-tapping scandal and opposition’s ongoing release of recordings allegedly made by govt and revealing its interference in press, judiciary and elections, as well as massive corruption. Opposition (social democratic party) leader Zoran Zaev indicted 1 May for wiretapping and “violence against representatives of the highest state bodies” but not yet arrested. Western ambassadors 11 May criticised govt failure to investigate alleged abuses, questioned its commitment to democratic principles. Interior and transport ministers and intelligence chief resigned 12 May, but tens of thousands joined protests in Skopje 17 May demanding govt resign; PM Gruevski organised pro-govt rally 18 May. Opposition and pro-govt supporters maintaining camps in front of govt and parliament respectively; small numbers of civil society members staging independent anti-govt protests around Skopje daily. EU seeks to mediate compromise in negotiations between four main political parties, as tension rises.

Kosovo

  |  1 Jun 2015

Unchanged

President and PM 11 May expressed concern over reported involvement of nine Kosovo citizens in clashes with police in Macedonian town Kumanovo 9-10 May (see Macedonia); said violence intended to destabilise Kosovo. Macedonian authorities arrested 23 Kosovars in connection with incident fighting; Kosovo condemned any involvement by Kosovars; police mid-month raided several houses, including families of those accused of taking part. Relatives of those killed/arrested in Kumanovo incident 20 May rallied in Pristina demanding information. Prosecutor 7 May charged 32 with terrorism and ties with Islamic State and al-Nusra. European Commission 30 April approved Stabilisation and Association Agreement.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Jun 2015

Unchanged

Following 27 April attack by suspected radical Islamist on police station in Zvornik in Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity, RS police 6 May arrested 30 Bosniaks suspected of involvement in Islamist radical activity; also reportedly seized arms and other military equipment. Arrests carried out without coordination with state agencies, raising concerns among Bosniaks and contributing to increased ethnic tensions. State House of Representatives 28 May adopted conclusion condemning Zvornik attack as terrorist act.

Macedonia

  |  30 Apr 2015

Unchanged
Escalating political crisis as opposition Social Democrat leader Zoran Zaev produced further tapes that opposition alleges show PM Gruevski’s govt was illegally wire-tapping thousands of citizens, interfering with judiciary, media, elections. Zaev charged with revealing state secrets; previously charged with corruption, attempted blackmail. EU Council 21 April expressed “grave concern regarding the deteriorating situation”, particularly in rule of law, fundamental rights and freedom of media; called for political dialogue, investigation of all allegations. Members of European Parliament facilitating talks between govt and opposition. Group of 40 armed men 21 April attacked and briefly took over police station in Goshince village on border with Kosovo, reportedly claiming to be members of Albanian National Liberation Army.

Kosovo

  |  30 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Stabbing of ethnic Serb in Mitrovica 9 April sparked series of minor attacks between ethnic Serbs and Albanians. EU hosted another round of Kosovo-Serbia talks 22 April; Pristina agreed to stop privatisation of companies in north without local Serbs’ consent. Kosovo Serb politicians ended two-month boycott of parliament. Kosovar Centre for Security Studies 14 April released report saying over 200 Kosovans fighting alongside Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  30 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Bosnian Serb SNSD adopted resolution during its party congress 25 April calling for referendum in 2018 on secession of Republika Srpska (RS) unless RS is given more autonomy. SNSD 7 April also said it will boycott newly-established Council of Ministers. Tensions increased further following 27 April attack on police station in Zvornik in RS by man suspected of being radical Islamist: gunman killed one policeman and wounded two before being shot dead. Govt increased security across country. RS President Dodik 28 April said federal security forces incompetent, RS will develop its own intelligence service. Prosecutor’s Office 14 April charged four men with financing terrorist activities, recruiting fighters for Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL).

Kosovo

  |  1 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Minister for Dialogue Edita Tahiri issued report 23 March blaming Belgrade for delay in implementing April 2013 Brussels Agreement on normalisation of Kosovo-Serbia relations, by maintaining parallel structures. Kosovo, Serbia and EU late month reached agreement to dissolve parallel Civil Protection force in Serb-majority north, incorporate members into police (in line with Brussels Agreement).

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Three main parties of Bosnia’s Federation entity, Party of Democratic Action (SDA), Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and Democratic Front 12 March agreed on formation of new govt, following Oct 2014 elections; SDA to hold PM post. State parliament 31 March approved nine-member Council of Ministers. EU FMs 16 March activated Bosnia’s Stabilisation and Association Agreement following Feb declaration by Bosnian parliament in support of EU integration. Main Bosnian Serb party SNSD and Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik same day announced boycott of parliament over disagreement on distribution of positions in committees.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  2 Mar 2015

Unchanged

Parliament 23 Feb adopted declaration pledging support for EU integration, paving way for EU to active country’s Stabilisation and Association Agreement. Ruling coalition parties agreed on new govt 22 Feb, day before visit of EU foreign policy chief Mogherini. House of Peoples 16 Feb elected new speaker Barisa Colak from Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and Serb and Bosniak deputy speakers. Talks continued on formation of Federation entity govt, with party leaders 25 Feb again failing to agree on distribution of ministerial positions.

Kosovo

  |  2 Mar 2015

Unchanged

Following Jan mass protests, PM Mustafa 3 Feb said Serb Minister for Communities and Returns Aleksandar Jablanovic no longer part of cabinet; Jablanovic’s removal prompted other Serb ministers in govt to threaten to resign. Kosovo and Serbian PMs met in Brussels 9 Feb for resumed dialogue on normalising relations, first such meeting since March 2014; next day signed agreement on integrating courts in Serb-run north into Kosovo judicial system. EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn during visit 18 Feb said Kosovo to sign Stabilization and Association Agreement with EU in 2015. Largest numbers of people reportedly leaving Kosovo since 1990s conflict; police reported 25,000 have crossed illegally from Kosovo into Hungary since Sept 2014, other estimates run to 100,000. On day of seventh anniversary of independence 17 Feb, PM Mustafa urged citizens not to leave.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  2 Feb 2015

Unchanged

Tripartite state presidency 29 Jan signed revised joint declaration confirming commitment to reforms, part of new initiative to revive Bosnia’s EU accession bid. Initial declaration of 31 Dec revised after president of Republika Srpska entity Milorad Dodik refused to back it, calling it attempt to further centralise country; said new statement, which refers to constitution, 1995 peace accord and entities, acceptable.

Kosovo

  |  2 Feb 2015

Unchanged

Dozens injured, over 100 arrested as police clashed with thousands of anti-govt protesters in Pristina late Jan calling for removal of Minister for Communities and Returns Aleksandar Jablanovic, accused of insulting ethnic Albanians early Jan, and for adoption of bill nationalising Trepca mine. Police used tear gas and water canon to disperse protests, largest since 2008 independence.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  5 Jan 2015

Unchanged

Lower house of new parliament 9 Dec elected as speaker Sefik Dzaferovic from mainly Bosniak Party of Democratic Action (SDA), and deputy speakers from Croatian Democratic Union and Serbian Democratic Party. SDA 18 Dec named Denis Zvizdic president of Council of Ministers (in effect PM). EU foreign policy chief Mogherini and enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn visiting early month urged progress on reform agenda. EU Foreign Affairs Council 15 Dec backed UK-German initiative to revive Bosnia’s EU accession bid. Republika Srpska formed new govt. UNSC extended deployment of EUFOR troops for another year.

Kosovo

  |  5 Jan 2015

Unchanged

Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) and Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) 8 Dec signed power-sharing agreement, allowing formation of new govt. Parliament 9 Dec appointed former Pristina mayor and LDK leader Isa Mustafa new PM; former PM and PDK leader Hashim Thaci appointed deputy PM and FM. EU foreign policy chief Mogherini said looking forward to resumption of high-level Pristina-Belgrade dialogue. Pristina police seized explosives in car belonging to Serbian national in suspected bombing attempt. Transparency International Global Corruption index ranked Kosovo and Albania most corrupt countries in region.

Kosovo

  |  1 Dec 2014

Unchanged

President Jahjaga 19 Nov reported two biggest parties, PM Thaci’s Democratic Party (PDK) and opposition Democratic League (LDK), agreed in principle to form coalition govt, bringing end to five-month deadlock since June elections. Deal came after opposition agreed to relinquish claim to post of parliament speaker. Jahjaga announced parliament session to install new govt scheduled 8 Dec. EU foreign policy chief Mogherini appointed independent expert to investigate allegations of corruption in EULEX mission. Joint report by Balkan Investigative Reporting Network Kosovo and Belgrade-based Center for Transparency, Research and Accountability highlighted failure to fully implement most accords reached in Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, called for action to revive momentum; Mogherini also called for action, resumption of dialogue.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Dec 2014

Unchanged

Following Oct elections, Party of Democratic Action (SDA), Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and Democratic Front (DF) 19 Nov signed agreement to govern federation entity; seeking deal with party from Republika Srpska entity to form state-level govt. Lower house of state parliament expected to be inaugurated 4 Dec. New tri-partite presidency took office 17 Nov. Germany and UK FMs 5 Nov sent open letter to people of Bosnia outlining initiative to push for progress on EU membership if govt signs up to reforms. EU foreign policy chief Mogherini 17 Nov reported new EU effort to promote reforms.

Serbia

  |  1 Nov 2014

Unchanged

EU late Oct ended sanctions on former Yugoslav President Milosovic, his family, other former Serbian officials. Albanian PM visited Belgrade 22 Oct for talks on situation of ethnic Albanians in Serbia areas bordering Kosovo, Macedonia.

Kosovo

  |  1 Nov 2014

Unchanged

Political crisis over nomination of Assembly speaker continued: Assembly postponed early Oct following failure of ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo and opposition coalition to reach agreement. Court of Appeal 1 Oct rejected detention of 11 terrorism suspects including Imam of Pristina Grand Mosque; supporters say cleric arrested for political reasons. Calls for investigation following allegations of corruption in EU rule of law mission.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Nov 2014

Unchanged

General and presidential elections held 12 Oct in Republika Srpska and Federal entity. Electoral Commission 13 Oct announced preliminary presidential vote results: Bakir Izetbegović from Party of Democratic Action (SDA) elected Bosniak member of tripartite presidency; Dragan Čović of Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) elected Croat member; Mladen Ivanić of Party for Democratic Progress (PDP) elected Serb member. Initial results showed SDA with 28% majority in Federation entity. In Republika Srpska the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) won 33%, main rival Serbian Democratic Party (SDS) won approx 27% of vote; parties considering possible coalition partners.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Oct 2014

Unchanged
16 alleged Islamic radicals suspected of fighting in Iraq and Syria, and recruiting and funding Bosnian nationals to join Islamic militants, detained 3 Sept. IMF 19 Sept said not to disperse next €380mn tranche of aid program until govt implements agreed economic reform.

Kosovo

  |  1 Oct 2014

Unchanged

15 influential Muslim leaders arrested 17 Sept across Kosovo in crackdown targeting alleged recruiting network for IS militants and al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria. Shefqet Krasniqi, imam of Pristina Grand Mosque, and several other imams arrested; hardline Islamic Movement Unify party described arrests as politically motivated.

Kosovo

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

40 alleged Islamic radicals suspected of fighting in Iraq and Syria arrested 11 Aug in Kosovo; weapons, ammunition, and explosives seized at 60 locations including makeshift mosques. Kosovo's parliament expected to pass legislation soon banning citizens from joining foreign insurgencies.

Serbia

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

PM Vucic 14 Aug suggested legislation criminalising participation in foreign war following reports Serbian mercenaries fighting in Ukraine. Vucic 22 Aug said Serbia will not impose sanctions on Russia after EU and U.S. imposed sanctions over Ukraine crisis.

Kosovo

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Political crisis sparked by June elections continued: newly-formed opposition bloc 17 July elected head of Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) Isa Mustafa Speaker of Parliament after Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) deputies had declared parliamentary session adjourned; PM Hashim Thaci filed complaint with Constitutional Court. No progress achieved in EU-led talks 23 July on controversial Mitrovica bridge. EU investigative team 29 July said it found evidence of crimes against humanity committed by high-ranking Kosovo Liberation Army members during and after 1990s war with Serbia.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

A Dutch court on 16 July ruled the Netherlands liable for 300 Bosnian Muslims killed in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre. The Genocide anniversary was commemorated in mid-July.

Macedonia

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Ethnic Albanian protesters 4 July clashed with riot police during rally against jailing of several Muslims for murder of ethnic Macedonians in Skopje; 20 police, several protesters injured; 6 ethnic Albanians sentenced 30 July to 3 years in prison for participation in violent protests.

Kosovo

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Parliamentary elections held 8 June with 43% turnout: ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) narrowly defeated opposition Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK). Opposition parties LDK, Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) and PDK splinter group 10 June agreed to form coalition against PDK. EU 12 June extended 2,000-strong rule of law and justice mission until June 2016, said mission will now start “phasing out executive functions in justice sector”. Mitrovica Serbs 18 June dismantled barricade that had been blocking main bridge for 3 years, 20 June re-blocked bridge; police in Mitrovica 22 June clashed with Kosovo Albanian protesters.

Kosovo

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Main parties 7 May agreed to dissolve parliament and hold snap elections 8 June following failure to agree on creation of national army; Serb parties refused to support move unless guaranteed reserved seats in parliament for another 4 years. Montenegrin officials warned would seek international arbitration in Kosovo border dispute if no agreement reached soon.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Some 200 protested outside Federation parliament in Sarajevo 9 May calling for resignation of entity govt, demanding govt fulfil demands submitted by citizens’ plenums in April. UN High Rep to Bosnia 15 May emphasised need for ongoing international oversight of 1995 Dayton peace agreement implementation.

Macedonia

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Opposition Social Democratic Union 28 May resigned seats in parliament in protest over 27 April snap poll results. Arrest of ethnic Albanian suspected of killing young Macedonian sparked protests, ethnic clashes in Skopje 20-21 May; several dozen protesters detained, 5 charged; civil rights groups accused police of excessive force. NATO Sec Gen Rasmussen 23 May said resolution of name dispute with Greece key to joining alliance.

Kosovo

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

3 ethnic Serb police attacked in northern municipality Zubin Potok 1 April. Following arrest of Kosovo Serb early month for 2011 killing of ethnic Albanian police officer in 2011, 4 Serb municipalities in north 16 April announced they would cease cooperation with EULEX. Parliament approved international court to address alleged crimes committed by ethnic Albanian guerrillas during 1998-99 war with Serbia.

Kosovo

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Govt announced plan to transform Kosovo Security Force into Kosovo Armed Forces by 2019; Belgrade said plan violates April 2013 normalisation agreement, cited guarantees forces will never enter Serb-majority north of Kosovo. Kosovo Serbs 16 March cast votes in Serbian election in polls organised by OSCE. Russian embassy in Belgrade said Moscow’s policy of non-recognition of Kosovo unchanged notwithstanding developments in Crimea.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Anti-govt protests that began early Feb continued on smaller scale in several towns and cities. EU foreign policy chief Ashton, visiting 12 March, said EU will switch focus from constitutional reform to economy, welfare, judiciary.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

Protests began in over 30 towns early Feb, triggered by collapse of privatised companies in Tuzla and resulting layoffs. Hundreds of redundant workers gathered in front of govt building in Tuzla 5 Feb calling for compensation; over 30 injured, 27 arrested. Several thousand joined protests 6 Feb, scores injured; protests began in Sarajevo and other places same day in support of Tuzla protesters and over economic conditions; 8 Feb spread to 32 towns in Bosniak-Croat entity, with protesters in some cities attacking and setting fire to govt buildings, clashing with police; several hundred injured, scores detained. Several politicians resigned, including canton govts in Tuzla and Zenica. Situation calmed 9 Feb, though protests continued demanding further resignations, measures to curb corruption, improve economy. Small protest also in Republika Srpska capital. Governing Social Democratic Party 12 Feb submitted proposal to parliament to change state-level electoral law to enable early elections. Sarajevo canton govt late Feb accepted protesters’ demands for govt of experts, lower wages for officials.

Kosovo

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

In 23 Feb re-run of local election in Mitrovica North, Goran Rakic, candidate from Belgrade-backed “Srpska” list, won with 52.6% of vote. Pristina and Belgrade in disagreement over whether voting in Serbia’s March parliamentary elections can also be held in Serb areas of Kosovo. UNSG Ban in report to UNSC praised progress by Kosovo and Serbia on normalisation of relations.

Kosovo

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

Newly-elected mayor of Mitrovica refused to take office 13 Jan, calling Nov local elections “major scam by international community”; new polls set for 23 Feb. Member of Mitrovica municipal assembly shot dead by unknown assailant in N Mitrovica 16 Jan.

Kosovo

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Run-off elections for 25 of 38 municipalities 1 Dec; no incidents reported, amid heavy security in North Mitrovica; some irregularities. Democratic Party of Kosovo won total of 10 municipalities in elections; Democratic League of Kosovo 9; Belgrade-backed “Srpska” 8. During 19th round of EU-mediated talks, Serbian and Kosovo PMs 5 Dec agreed that a Serb will command regional police in Serb-majority northern Kosovo.

Macedonia

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

European Council 17 Dec again postponed discussion on opening Macedonian EU membership talks until June 2014, due to Greek position on name dispute.

Serbia

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

European Union (EU) Foreign Ministers 17 Dec agreed Serbia can start EU membership talks in January following implementation of April 2013 EU-mediated agreement with Kosovo.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

High Representative Valentin Inzko in report to UNSC expressed concern over political crisis, need for reform, Bosnian Serb calls for secession. Republika Srpska (RS) President Dodik 20 Nov said RS should be separate state. Preliminary results of Oct census show fall in population from 1991 level from 4.4mn to 3.79mn. Upper chamber of parliament 5 Nov adopted changes to Law on Personal Numbers, required for newborns to obtain personal documents. Prosecutors 27 Nov indicted Federation entity President Budimir and several other senior figures over suspicious amnesties.

Kosovo

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

Local elections held across Kosovo 3 Nov, including first local polls to be held under Kosovo jurisdiction in country’s 4 mainly-Serb northern municipalities. Polls marked by widespread fraud. Turnout among Kosovo Serbs low despite encouragement to vote from Belgrade, amid deeply flawed electoral preparations in north. Serb hardliners threatened Serbs who turned out to vote, attacked 3 polling stations, prompting OSCE staff to withdraw from N Kosovo; violence prompted widespread condemnation, plus criticism of police handling of security. Despite irregularities Central Election Commission (CEC) only ordered re-run of vote in 3 assaulted polling stations in North Mitrovica. Amid heavy security no incidents reported at re-run on 17 Nov, but turnout still low at 22% despite intensified pressure from Belgrade to vote; prosecutors subsequently opened investigation into whether Belgrade-backed Srpska list coerced people into voting. CEC also ordered re-vote in Zvečan after losing candidate presented evidence of fraud. 10 out of 35 municipalities saw outright winner in first round vote; run-off vote for others scheduled for 1 Dec. Belgrade-backed list “Srpska” won vote in 3 Serb municipalities, North Mitrovica headed for run-off.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

Bosnian leaders again failed to agree on constitutional reforms required to implement 2009 European Court of Human Rights umSejdić-Finci ruling, as required by EU. EU responded saying it would cut €47mn in pre-accession assistance, around half of 2014 allocation. Annual EU Progress Report 22 Oct criticised lack of reform, emphasised Brussels does not intend to impose solutions. Bosnia finally performed first post-war population census 1-15 Oct amid accusations of fraud and irregularities.

Kosovo

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

Scattered violence marred preparations for first local elections to be held under Kosovo jurisdiction in Serb-held northern municipalities 3 Nov, fuelled fears for violence on election day. 3 explosions targeted local politicians 14-19 Oct. Belgrade and Pristina traded accusations of fraud related to voter registration process. UNDP survey early Oct found almost half Serbs in N Kosovo do not plan to vote, only half of voters aware of who was running for mayor. Most of region’s established politicians supporting boycott campaign. EU Progress Report said Kosovo must strengthen anti-corruption efforts; Kosovo began talks on Stabilisation and Association Agreement 28 Oct.

Kosovo

  |  1 Oct 2013

Unchanged

Belgrade and Pristina pushing ahead with plans for Kosovo-wide municipal elections 3 Nov. Serbian officials registered state-backed slate of candidates for first local elections to be held under Kosovo law in the four northern municipalities Serbia has controlled since 1999 (Leposavić, North Mitrovica, Zubin Potok and Zvečan). Central Electoral Committee 2 Sept agreed to print ballot papers without Republic of Kosovo symbols. As part of EU-mediated April deal normalising Kosovo-Serbia relations, Serbian govt 10 Sept dismissed mayors and dissolved assemblies of the 4 northern municipalities, naming interim govts headed by its chosen candidates for Nov polls – completing Serbia’s administrative withdrawal from Kosovo and in effect representing Serbia’s acquiescence to implementing non-status components of 2006 Ahtisaari Plan. Northern Kosovo Serbs continue to reject submission to Pristina’s authority and urge boycott of elections. One or more unknown gunmen opened fire on EULEX convoy 19 September, killing Lithuanian policeman en route to northern border post at Jarinje; risk of further violence in run-up to polls. Belgrade also formed team for establishing Association of Serbian Municipalities in Kosovo, also part of April deal.

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