Kosovo Assembly. Photo:BIRN

Kosovo Assembly Reaches Consensus in Voting International Agreements

After several months of blockade by opposition parties, the Assembly of Kosovo initiated the voting on several international agreements, amounting to over 300 million euros in projects ranging from energy to infrastructure.

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During Thursday’s plenary session, the Assembly of Kosovo reached a consensus for the vote on several international agreements, with the participation of opposition MPs from the Democratic League of Kosovo and the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party did not participate in the vote, asserting that Kosovo is still under punitive measures from the European Union.

Besnik Tahiri, an MP of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, articulated that the ongoing abstention from voting serves the purpose of underscoring the significance of the opposition. He expressed that agreements entailing public benefits should not be impeded by lingering animosities.

“Over the course of consecutive months, our role as the opposition has drawn criticism for abstaining from voting on international agreements. AAK has cast votes in favor of 830 million in international agreements over the past two and a half years. Our political stance against participating in these votes is aimed at highlighting the pivotal role of the opposition and underscoring the essential nature of parliamentary discourse and consensus-building, particularly in matters of sensitivity, without compromising the public good,” Tahiri declared.

“In relation to agendas with a focus on public benefits, we affirm a commitment to hold no grudges. There is an assurance that all investigative commissions will be convened under these premises, and accordingly, AAK will extend its support through votes,” he further stated.

With 83 votes in favor, the Financing Agreement between the Republic of Kosovo, represented by the Ministry of Finance, Labor and Transfers, and the European Investment Bank for the “Rehabilitation of Railway Line 10 B” project was passed.

The draft law for the ratification of the Loan Agreement and the project between the Republic of Kosovo, represented by the Ministry of Finance, Labor and Transfers, KOSTT, System Operator, Transmission, and Market, and KFW, Frankfurt Am Main for the “Energy Sector Development VII – Improvement of the Transmission Network” project was also approved.

Also, the draft law for the ratification of the Agreement between the Republic of Kosovo, represented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development, and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Zusammenarbeit, GIZ GmbH, for the project supporting sustainable development of the agriculture sector in rural areas through diversification of activities, was passed.

On the other hand, the draft law for the ratification of the Loan Agreement for the public finance and economic growth program between the Republic of Kosovo and the OPEC Fund for International Development did not pass, as the LDK and AAK opposed it.

The voting on the agreements was welcomed by the German Ambassador to Kosovo, Jorn Rohde, who expressed, “Good news for Kosovo. Finally, green light for important international agreements, reached through cross-party consensus in parliament today. These will benefit the people and the whole country,” via X.

Three international agreements were postponed for another day as there were not more than 80 deputies present in the hall, the minimum required for their voting.

Another agreement that is yet to be voted on in the parliament includes The Agreement for prisons with the Danish Government, which secures budgetary revenues of 150 million euros and a grant for investments in renewable energy of 27.5 million euros, totaling 177.5 million euros, has been awaiting ratification in the Parliament since June 9, 2023.

The blockage of voting on international agreements in the Kosovo Parliament had persisted for several months, conditioned by the opposition’s demand for the dissolution of the Parliament and the organization of new elections. The government remained unresponsive to these demands until the approval of the agreements.

The Kurti Government holds a majority in the Parliament for passing laws with a simple majority, supported by 64 deputies, including a multi-ethnic group. However, the ratification of international agreements requires a two-thirds majority (80 votes) from deputies, a challenge that the government faced until Thursday.

24/11/2023 - 16:44

24 November 2023 - 16:44

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