Illustration by Trembelat for Prishtina Insight.

Bad timing for new elections in Kosovo, analysts say

Despite opposition calls for snap elections in Kosovo, new national elections are nowhere in sight, political commentators argue.

Listening to the Kosovo opposition, Ramush Haradinaj’s government is hanging by a thread. Ever since one of the governing partners, Srpska Lista, left the government over Marko Djuric’s arrest, opposition representatives have called for new elections to oust the “minority government,” as LDK MP Avdullah Hoti called Haradinaj’s cabinet in March.

In the last month alone, parties hosted several round tables and officials appeared on televised debates, arguing that early elections were necessary to replace the current government. Yet, no actual move to initiate a vote of no-confidence has been made.

On April 25, the Democratic Party of Kosovo, LDK, invited all political parties to discuss early elections.

In an invitation sent to other parties, LDK head Isa Mustafa said that “the current political situation in Kosovo can only be solved by early elections.

A month later, on May 25, Vetevendosje did the exact same thing. Yet, neither of the gatherings produced an initiative to overthrow the government.

According to civil society activist and political analyst Arton Demhasaj, opposition MPs are not serious in their calls for elections, and are only doing it as a publicity stunt.

“If they were serious about it, they would initiate a no-confidence motion to overthrow the government and have early elections,” Demhasaj said.

“The fact that this initiative is not being made implies that they are not convinced about the idea of elections, and they are only discussing it publicly to get political points and votes,” he said.

Since 2010, every national election in Kosovo was a snap election. The most recent elections, held in June last year, produced a hung parliament as the PAN coalition, which ran with Haradinaj as PM candidate, barely managed to garner 61 votes —the simple majority — to vote-in the new cabinet.

With the departure of Srpska Lista, the governing coalition has 52 MPs in parliament.

But pundits also doubt whether the opposition has the votes to oust Haradinaj. Imer Mushkolaj, another analyst, said that if he were in PM Haradinaj’s position, he would start a no-confidence motion himself just to call the opposition’s bluff.

“Both LDK and Vetevendosje know that it is not the time for elections. But, if I were Haradinaj, I would start a no-confidence motion [myself], because [the opposition] does not have the votes [to bring down the government], and I would remove this topic from public discussion,” he said.

Like Demhasaj, Mushkolaj considers these round tables to discuss snap elections in Kosovo “unserious.”

“There will be no elections for now. Let’s wait for Fall next year and see how things progress,” he said.

29/05/2018 - 09:08

29 May 2018 - 09:08

Prishtina Insight is a digital and print magazine published by BIRN Kosovo, an independent, non-governmental organisation. To find out more about the organization please visit the official website. Copyright © 2016 BIRN Kosovo.