The Vetevendosje (LV) movement led by former Kosovo PM, Albin Kurti, is the convincing winner of early parliamentary elections held in Kosovo on Sunday, with 48 percent of the vote won, preliminary election results showed after more than a half of ballots had been counted.
According to exit polls published after polling stations closed at 7 pm, Kurti could win 53 percent of the vote, or 58 seats in the 120-seat Kosovo Assembly.
His party, whose name translated as “Self-Determination,” is followed by the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), with 18.3 percent of the vote, and the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), with 13.6 percent of the vote.
Serb Slate – the leading party of ethnic Serbs in Kosovo, declared victory in its race for all ten seats in the parliament guaranteed for the Serb community, winning 3.8 percent of the total votes cast.
“As an independent country, Kosovo is today being returned to its people as its bearer of sovereignty,” Kurti, a former prime minister who stepped down in June, said commenting the early results.
The incumbent Prime Minister, Avdullah Hoti (LDK), told reporters he would accept full responsibility for his party’s election result, which fell short of expectations.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic congratulated the Serb Slate, saying that he had hoped for such an outcome.
“This is an important thing, and a difficult period is ahead of us,” Vucic told the Belgrade-based Pink TV.
The last parliament election in Kosovo was held in October 2019, when Kurti’s LV party won 26 percent of the vote just in front of the more established parties LDK and PDK which won 24 and 21 percent respectively.
This was the first time that the left-wing party won power, and Kurti became prime minister in February 2020. However, his government no-confidence vote in late March 2020. He continued to lead a caretaker government until Kosovo parliament voted n June 2020 to appoint a new cabinet headed by Avdullah Hoti of the LDK.