Press releasesOffice of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS WELCOMES ELECTION CALM IN KOSOVO
19 November 2001
19 November 2001
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson today welcomed the calm and orderly conditions which accompanied the elections for the first Kosovo Assembly.
"Election rights lie at the core of democracy", Mrs. Robinson said. "I hope the calm conditions of the vote are an indication of future political discourse in Kosovo. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the United Nations Mission in Kosovo, the Central Election Commission, the Municipal Election Commissions, and all other participants, are to be commended for the organization and implementation of election procedures".
The High Commissioner said four teams from the OHCHR office in Kosovo visited key polling stations in Gjilan/Gnjilane, Gracanica, Kosovo Polje, Laplje Selo, Mitrovica, Obilic, Pristina, and Vucitrn.
"The teams assessed that conditions on Saturday were conducive to voting and there was freedom of movement in terms of physical access to the polling stations. The teams also commented on the fact that the stations visited were well-organized". Mrs. Robinson further noted that there were no incidents of violence or intimidation at the polling stations during the team visits.
"The elections are a good step", Mrs. Robinson added. "However, concerns remain for the protection of human rights for the minority communities of Kosovo. The apparently low voter turn-out among Serbs, in particular in Mitrovica, is an indication that more must be done to address the needs of the local community there and elsewhere."