Saturday, June 4, 2011

Still Alive & Kicking - A Quick Political Catch-Up

I know it has been a while since I have blogged but I am still alive and kicking :)  In fact, I'm happy to report that the reason it has been so long since I last blogged is because Troy and I have been home in the US since the beginning of April and were blessed with the birth of our first child on 12 May 2011, a beautiful baby girl :)  A fairly good excuse for not blogging I suppose!  But no more excuses, a lot has been going on in Kosovo since I last wrote so I know there is no possible chance that I will cover it all but here's a go at it :)

After the Constitutional Court ruled that the election of Pacolli was not in accordance with the law, Kosovo elected its first female president on 6 April 2011, the little known Atifete Jahjaga.  Jahjaga, who is not aligned with any political parties, comes from the ranks of the Kosovo Police Service where she was one if not the highest ranking female police officers in the Balkans.  Jahjaga won the Kosovo parliament presidential election with the highest majority since late leader Ibrahim Rugova and voting only lasted one round, unlike the two failing rounds with Pacolli before his illegitimate election in the third round.

Kosovo and Serbia continue to hold European-sponsored talks on technical issues.  So far there seems to be little progress and Serbia insists that it still will not recognize an independent Kosovo.  On 12 May 2011, protestors from Vetevendosje clashed with Kosovo Police during a demonstration against the visit of the Serbian chief negotiator.  Police used tear gas to disperse the protestors who were throwing rocks and damaged several official vehicles during the demonstration.  Talk of partition has raised ire on both sides of the table and both vehemently reject the idea of splitting Kosovo.  In the meantime, while ethnic tensions have eased, life for minorities in Kosovo is still challenging.