AAK push Haradinaj as future Kosovo President

AAK have put forward party leader Ramush Haradinaj as a potential candidate for Kosovo’s next president and authorised him to represent the party during any discussions on the reshuffling of the government.

At a meeting of the steering council of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, AAK, on Wednesday, party leader Ramush Haradinaj was authorised to represent the party in any future discussions on the “reconfiguration” of the Kosovo Government. According to a press release from AAK, this includes any negotiations over the next Kosovo President, for which the party believes Haradinaj himself should be a candidate.

“The AAK Steering Council has authorized party leader Haradinaj to hold any talks on behalf of the Alliance for the eventual reconfiguration of the government, including the issue of the president if this will be on the agenda,” the party stated. “The Steering Council has also requested, by a majority, that in these talks, the candidate for president should be Ramush Haradinaj.”

Haradinaj said via a Facebook post that he feels honoured by the party’s decision. “The trust that I will be the candidate for president, if this is discussed based on the constitution, I consider a high responsibility and special honour,” wrote Haradinaj.

Ardian Gjini, a deputy leader of AAK, pointed to the indictment filed by the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office against current president Hashim Thaci as part of the reason behind the need to discuss the next presidency. Thaci has said that he will resign if the indictment is confirmed by a pre-trial judge, while his current mandate is due to end in April 2021.

However, Gjini added that the issue should be discussed soon regardless of whether the indictment is confirmed or not.

“Even if there is no indictment confirmed against President Thaci, after four or five months we need to enter into the process of electing the president,” Gjini told a press conference on Wednesday. He added that AAK is keen to avoid the early elections that would be triggered automatically if three attempts to elect a new president failed at the Kosovo Assembly.

According to the Constitution, every eligible citizen of the Republic of Kosovo may be nominated as a candidate for President of the Republic of Kosovo, provided he or she presents the signatures of at least 30 MPs sitting at the Assembly of Kosovo. 

Candidates are elected by receiving two thirds of the votes in the Kosovo Assembly. However, if no candidates receive two thirds of the vote in two initial ballots, a third vote between the most voted for candidates is triggered, in which a majority of 61 votes is enough to secure the presidency.

AAK are currently part of a governing coalition with LDK, NISMA, Lista Srpska and other parties representing Kosovo’s ethnic minorities. However, tensions have arisen over the handling of the EU-facilitated Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, with Haradinaj and Justice Minister Selim Selimi repeatedly criticising the process in recent weeks.

In its statement on Wednesday, AAK reiterated that criticism, stating that it backs American leadership in the dialogue, which the party state “will end with mutual recognition between the two countries.” It added that it does not support “a technical dialogue at the low level of coordinators,” referencing Kosovo’s newly appointed State Coordinator for the Dialogue, LDK’s Skender Hyseni. 

Later, Haradinaj added that the party does not support a “technical dialogue, which for more than a decade has gone in favor of Serbia, leaving Kosovo isolated.”

12/08/2020 - 19:56

12 August 2020 - 19:56

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