More than 42.000 members of the Kosovar diaspora have applied to register and be able to vote in the upcoming parliamentary elections, which will be held Sunday, October 6 .
This was announced by the chief executive of the secretariat of the central electoral commission, Enis Halimi, who said that the questions were received but not yet approved.
"The total number is 42.300, which are currently being evaluated. We believe that in the next two days we will finish processing the questions, in order to have them ready for the voting process. " - declared Halimi.
The central electoral commission is an independent institution responsible for organizing and implementing elections in Kosovo; regulates and controls the electoral process and also has the power to register or not political parties in Kosovo.
The Kosovar diaspora
It is estimated, to date, that among the 400.000 and 600.000 citizens of Kosovo live abroad and have the right to vote in the next parliamentary elections.
The number of applications presented by the diaspora this year has doubled compared to the parliamentary elections of the 2017: in June two years ago, in fact, only 20.354 citizens of the diaspora (about 6,8% of the total) had tried to vote in the elections. According to the central electoral commission, 15.118 of these requests were approved even if in the end only the 30% of the entitled (6.000 approximately) actually voted.
The 71% of the votes of the diaspora went in favor of the opposition party 'Vetëvendosje', the 16% voted for the' Democratic League of Kosovo 'coalition, while the remaining part (the 13%) voted in favor of the PAN coalition.
According to Diaspora-centered political analyst Lirim Kransiqi, considering that voter turnout in Kosovo was low in previous elections (41,3% in 2017), a larger contribution from the diaspora could have a "significant effect on increasing democratic legitimacy of the country ".
However, according to Kransiqi, the logistical barriers to voting mean that to date no fair access has been possible to citizens abroad. Delays in postal voting, the main method of voting for the diaspora, resulted in the loss of many votes from abroad.
According to a report by the "ombudsman" published following the 2017 elections, Kosovo should implement the physical vote for the diaspora with urns set up in diplomatic or consular missions in foreign countries around the world. Although more expensive, this would affirm a more reliable and democratic participation of the diaspora in the Kosovo parliamentary elections.
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