An election poster in the Kosovo town of Djakovica
On Sunday November 15 2009 Kosovo will have its first local elections held in 36 regions including three regions of predominantly Serbian population, Bulgarian news agency BTA said.
These will be the first elections in Kosovo organised solely by local authorities since the region declared independence from Serbia in February 2008.
Until now all Kosovo elections have been organised by the local mission of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and results were verified by the UN's interim administration mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).
Analysts said turnout of both Albanians and non-Albanians was expected to be low. The reason were the general discontent towards political parties, their lack of efficiency and allegation of corruption, BTA said
BTA quoted official Belgrade and Serbian Orthodox church spokespersons as saying that there were no ground for the Kosovo Serbian population to take part in the elections, in line with Serbia's position not to recognise Kosovo as independent state.
A boycott of the elections by the Kosovo Serbs would be a statement for their refusal not to take part in strengthening the institutions of the quasi-state of Kosovo, BTA quoted Serbian government representatives as saying.
In May 2008, Serbia financed and held local elections in the Serbian-dominated areas of Kosovo.
According to polls quoted by BTA, 28 per cent of the Kosovo Serbs intended to vote, 40 per cent had not yet decided and 32 per cent said they would boycott the elections.