Unable to gather the necessary 80 votes to pass the demarcation deal with Montenegro, the Kosovo Assembly postpones the vote once again.
The vote on the demarcation deal with Montenegro has been postponed once again, announced Assembly Speaker Kadri Veseli almost four hours after the extraordinary session planned for today failed to begin.
“Allow me to stress my optimism that we’re on the right path to achieve a consensus, we have an agreement that the session will be continued tomorrow at 10 [am],” said Veseli, adding that all political parties in the parliament had unanimously agreed to reconvene the session. Vetevendosje MP Fatmire Kollcaku however denied they had been consulted.
While there might have been some consensus on postponing the session, there is less agreement amongst parties when it comes to the controversial deal, initially opposed even by Kosovo’s current Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj.
The deal was signed by Kosovo and Montenegro in 2015 but has yet to be ratified in the Kosovo Assembly due to claims from opposition groups that the draft law would cause Kosovo to lose some eight thousand hectares of land.
Both internationals and locals welcomed a breakthrough just before Kosovo marked its 10th anniversary of independence last week, when Montenegrin and Kosovar presidents issued a joint statement promising that border delineation would be “corrected” by a joint working group.
Prime Minister Haradinaj also welcomed the “annex-agreement,” saying it solved the land dispute. But, on Thursday, major opposition party Kosovo Democratic League, LDK, said that it would not vote on the draft bill if it was accompanied by a report on the deal drafted by the commission established by Haradinaj, whose findings are in direct contradiction with the agreement and which states that the original commission had falsified maps. LDK also suggested to redact references made to the annex-agreement.
The deal has been vehemently opposed by the opposition party Vetevendosje, which called the annex agreement a hoax, and has even submitted charges against President Hashim Thaci at the Kosovo Special Prosecution, accusing him of treason.
Meanwhile, Srpska Lista issued a statement that it would also not vote for the agreement, leaving the governing coalition that is hoping to ratify the bill — one of the two remaining conditions for Kosovo to get a visa-free regime with the Schengen Zone — without the necessary votes.
President Hashim Thaci, Head of the EU Office Nataliya Apostolova, and US Ambassador Greg Delawie were also at the Assembly building on Thursday in an effort to find a consensus amongst MPs to ratify the bill.
22 February 2018 - 14:00
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