As the local elections campaign season opens, the Embassies of France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States call all political parties and their candidates to commit to free, respectful, and peaceful campaigning. Citizens deserve an open and transparent election process where all candidates have the right to be heard by the voters, members of the media have the right to share information about the election free from threats or violence, and all voters have the right to make their own decisions free from any pressure.
We reiterate that freedom of political affiliation and free speech are guaranteed rights in a democratic society, and we strongly condemn anyone attempting to influence the election process or the voters’ choices through intimidation, threats, and pressure. We expect Kosovo’s leaders, and those aspiring to leadership, to speak out strongly against this type of behavior, and we support the efforts of local police and prosecutors to investigate any reports of intimidation, threats, and coercion and to prosecute if the facts justify it.
The Embassies expect the candidates to hold themselves to these standards throughout the campaign season, and encourage the voters to choose wisely those candidates who will best represent the interests of citizens and of the country as it aspires to continue the path of Euro-Atlantic integration.