Sunday, December 02, 2007

Election fraud in Kosovo

Balkan Insight is reporting about election fraud during the recent elections in Kosovo. Someone filmed fraud occurring in a voing station in Viti/Vitina. There are reports from other incidents as well. We will probably never know the extent of the fraud. Western elections observers have the habit of labelling election fraud by "friendly" governments as "minor incidents". And these elections were organised by the OSCE.

The low voter turnout in Kosovo seems to confirm that many voters in Kosovo share my concern about these elections: they were only meant to keep Kosovo's present elite in power until long after the status has been settled.


Stories from the other side said...

Since you can not speak Albanian and have tendency to use a very tabloid language when you mention Albanians, Bosnjaks I can tell you that Central Election Commission has decided to declare invalid all the ballots casted in voting stations suspected of fraud. These were voting stations in very remote parts of Kosovo where there were not enough commissioners. In other places fraud was impossible since all parties had their people in every voting station when the ballots were counted.
I know that you read B92, English section, and not long time ago, I think two weeks ago, they had a article about how Tsar Lazar's Guard in public had threatened with using atomic bomb against Albanians and killing Albanian like rabbits "because they reproduce like rabbits". I waited you to make a short comment on this where you would maybe condemn since you say or at least give impression of covering all Balkans, but nothing appeared. I just hope this does not mean you accept this kind of statements.

Today the trail against Serbs who committed Suva Reka massacre restarted and nothing from you on this issue either.

Have your read this:

What do you think? Do you still agree with Milosevic that something should have been done against Albanians in 1989?

The Other Side

Wim Roffel said...

First, good to hear that the Central Election Commission is doing something about the fraud. If you have had provided some url with an English source I would have updated the post.

I ignore the Tsar Lazar's Guard just as I ignore the Albanian militias, Alban Kurti or Solajdzic. I don't agree with any of them but I don't see a reason to discuss them unless some international source takes them seriously. Threatening to use an atomic bomb is of course just ridiculous as Sebia doesn't have one.

Instead of those marginal loudmouths I am interested in the actual decisions and the arguments and people involved. At the moment the most urgent is the status of Kosovo. I am in favor of independence, but not at the price of another 100,000 exiles. If you disagree with that position please let me know!

I had read the Vladimir Arsenijevic article before. He is obviously not an antropologist. You see it everywhere in the world that that rich people look down on poor people and rich provinces on poor provinces. Arsenijevic is probably not aware of it but he is doing eaxctly the same. Only he is associating himself with Western Europe in order to look down on his fellow Serbs.

If you go to poor neighbourhoods in the US you can hear similar racistic talk about blacks and hispanics. But in the US you have good anti-racism laws so you won't hear it in the media. The problem in Serbia (and in all other areas that just were in war) is that it is very difficult to enforce such laws in a climate determined by war and conflict.

I still have the opinion that the way Kosovo was treating its minorities before 1989 was not ok and needed to be corrected. But I would have preferred if it had been solved with some polite talk in the Yugoslav presidium. Milosevic made the situation only worse.

Stories from the other side said...

I don't see any reason to ignore Tsar Lazars Guard since they are using the same tactics as Milosevic did back in 1980's and are comprised by former Albanian-killers. By the way I find it completely inappropriate to compare Kurti with the Tsar Lazar's Guard. Many years in Serbian prison where he was subject to inhuman torture has maybe made him more radical, but he has NEVER, NEVER invited anyone to use violence and will never do it since he is too cultivated to do anything like that. I personally don't support Kurti since I think he is too radical but if you read any of the things Kurti has published it will not be difficult to agree in 80 % of what he says.

Let me quote US ambassador to Serbia 1989-1992, Warren Zimmermann:

During my first few weeks in Yugoslavia I found that Milosevic's trampling on Albanian rights was almost universally popular among Serbs, and not just those with a limited grasp of political issues...There was no use dismissing these crackpot ideas as the moundrings of intellectuals; they were prelevant throughout Serbian society, from shopkeepers to peasant farmers to journalists. I remember meeting an art historian at a dinner party. A tall, attractive, and sensitive woman, she had been to New York many times and loved America and its culture. After a wide-ranging and fascinating conversation on a variety of subjects, I asked her how she would deal with the Kosovo problem. 'Simple' she said. 'Just line all the Albanians up against a wall and shoot them' (END)

The situation of minorities (Serbs) before 1989 was only a pretext for withdrawing Kosovo's autonomy. Maybe some Serbs who had learned at home that "siptari" were not human beings, but something between human and animals, after 1974 did not like to e.g. have a Albanian chief, but this can not be considered discrimination since Albanians had over 80 % majority and most of the chiefs in Kosovo should have been Albanians. Media also wrote about how Albanians were raping Serb girls. A investigation was conducted by some scholars from the other Yugoslavian republics, don't remember where, and they found out that the number of raping in Kosovo was the lowest of all Yugoslavia and that there was no link between ethnicity and rape, Belgrade media part of the Milosevic campaign such as Politika, did not publish this off course.

Right after the war unfortunately some Albanians have carried out crimes against Serbs in what can be considered as revenge. This should off course never had happened and such behavior is unacceptable but this crimes have some how been overestimated by Serbs and people who likes to blacken Albanian, US and UN. At the same time these people have tried to underestimate the number of killed Albanians and putting the blame on KLA. The crimes against Serbs, which I once again condemn, were carried out, I believe, by people who had been devastated by the Serbs. The total number of killed Serbs 1998- 2007 does not exceed 500 based on data gathered by KMLDNJ and Red Cross.

It was not the way Albanians treated minorities (you are thinking about Serbs, aren't you) that caused frustration but the way Kosovo developed. Albanians in Kosovo from being a total analphabet nationality that were inferior all other nationalities in Yugoslavia except Roma people, now within two decades had among them hundreds of thousands of educated people. Now Serbs understood that they had underrated the "primitive, wild" Albanians.