Transcript of SRSG interview with AP
Friday 23 March 2012
The letter asked UNMIK to organize local elections in Kosovo in conformity with Resolution 1244 of the United Nations Security Council. In my reply to the Serbian authorities, I acknowledged their commitment to the fact that any elections held in Kosovo ought to be under the provisions of Security Council Resolution 1244 and then because of circumstances prevailing in Kosovo, I informed them that it would not be possible for UNMIK to organize local elections in Kosovo.
Does this mean they will have to be tolerated? Is there any other way of stopping the Serbian government from organizing these elections?
Absolutely, when I mentioned that the Government of Serbia has indicated its commitment that any election in Kosovo ought to be held under Resolution 1244 that means that they are not the party to organize such elections in Kosovo. It would be in violation of 1244 should they proceed and organize such elections by themselves in Kosovo. But what happens there after is subject to further discussion between ourselves and other international presences in consultation with the local authorities in Pristina.
So it is not ruled out that these elections could take place?
Of course it’s Kosovo and the people of Kosovo, a big pocket of the Kosovo population, will have to be entitled to exercising their franchise to elect their local leaders and that right can be exercised through arrangements that will be discussed and then put in place.
Could you please explain, does this have any effect on general elections because Serbia is supposed to hold general elections in Kosovo as well? Were you asked to interpret that issue?
I understand from my conversations with the Kosovo authorities that they fully acknowledge the right of the citizens who also enjoy Serbian citizenship to be able to cast their ballots in the context of Parliamentary elections in Serbia. How would that be arranged is another issue that is being discussed in order to make sure that it is done with the least element of instability and concern.
Are you concerned that these elections might further deteriorate the links or the connections between the communities here?
I hope not, it depends on how leaders and community representatives would deal with that. I think that there is always a way of arranging it in such a manner that it would be a contribution towards consolidating peace and stability and building relationship between communities rather than deteriorating it.