Albin Kurti. | Photo: BETA, Armenija Zajmi Besevic.

Deadline looms for Kurti to form Kosovo Government

Prime Minister-designate Albin Kurti has only a few days left to form a new government in Kosovo – although a coalition agreement between the two biggest parties in the country is nowhere in sight.

Albin Kurti, Kosovo’s candidate for Prime Minister, has only until next Tuesday to form a new government – while the two main parties, his own Vetevendosje and the Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, have not yet reached a coalition agreement.

Kosovo media reported that the presence of the so-called Quint ambassadors at a meeting between Vetevendosje and the LDK did not have the desired effect of prompting the two parties to settle their differences on Tuesday.

The Quint countries comprise the five big Western states with a direct interest in Kosovo – the US, Britain, France, Italy and Germany.

“There is no rapprochement between the two parties. We have made two proposals since my name was sent to the president as a candidate but two-sided consent is required for an agreement. We can’t have an agreement of the ‘take it or leave it’ type,” Kurti said.

LDK leader Isa Mustafa admitted that time was running out. “My interest and readiness [to reach an agreement] were never greater. We have one more week left,” he said.

But he also made it clear that his party stood by its latest demand, which is to get the post of speaker of parliament, despite Vetevendosje’s Glauk Konjufca being elected to the post on December 26, 2019. Mustafa insisted the offer was balanced and reasonable.

Mustafa added that the Quint ambassadors had been informed of the negotiations so far, adding that “the goal was for them to be informed and not [for them] to mediate or intervene in the agreement process”.

It was reported on Tuesday that the ambassadors might mediate in the meeting between the Vetevendosje and LDK leaders. But, soon after, the ambassadors declared in a joint press release that they would not mediate because the “responsibility for the future of Kosovo … is with the people of Kosovo”.

More than three months since the October 2019 snap elections, Kosovo appears no closer to forming a government, raising the prospect of fresh elections.

Some experts are calling for a temporary technical government to be formed until the EU-led dialogue with Serbia moves forward and the 2020 budget has been approved.

Political analyst Artan Muhaxhiri told local TV station Dukagjini on Tuesday that elections at this stage would be pointless. “It would not be logical for new elections to be announced as the exact same situation could be repeated,” he warned.

Ramush Haradinaj, the outgoing Prime Minister, agreed that new elections would be “painful”, adding that “the people are not to be blamed”.

He told the local TV channel T7 that the elections last year were “the best ever held” and insisted that his AAK party was not queuing to get back into power, but added that, “If the LDK invites us [into a coalition government] we will consider it”.

President Hashim Thaci ratified Kurti as the Vetevendosje candidate for the post of PM on January 20, 2020. As Prime Minister-designate, he is obliged by the constitution to propose his government within 15 days of the nomination.

29/01/2020 - 15:17

29 January 2020 - 15:17

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.