Kadri Veseli celebrating in Prishtina after the June 11 elections. | Photo: Atdhe Mulla.

Kosovo elects Kadri Veseli as Assembly Speaker

After weeks of political deadlock, the Kosovo Assembly has elected Kadri Veseli as Speaker, with 62 votes in favor and 52 votes against.

On Thursday, the Kosovo Assembly elected Kadri Veseli, the PAN coalition’s nominee, as Assembly Speaker by a slim majority vote.

The Assembly also elected Xhavit Haliti (of the PAN coalition), Aida Derguti (of Vetevendosje), and Kujtim Shala (of the LAA coalition) as Deputy Speakers. Mufera Sinik and Slavko Simic were elected as Deputy Speakers from the minority communities with 61 votes in favor, and 41 votes abstained.

To close the session, Vetevendosje’s Adem Mikullovci, who was presiding over the inaugural Assembly session as the oldest MP, thanked everyone and declared that he had fulfilled his obligations. He yielded to Kadri Veseli, the newly elected Speaker of the Assembly.

“What citizens await from us is that the past situations remain in the past. We were elected to solve the citizens’ problems and not to make them worse,” said Veseli during his opening speech. “We don’t have time to waste. The more we delay, the more Kosovo loses,” he added.

MPs from VV and LDK walked out of the Assembly hall for Veseli’s speech.

Thursday’s session, which was scheduled to take place at 11:00 am, was postponed for 2:00 pm when the PAN coalition initially failed to show.

Kosovo had been in a political deadlock since August 3, with the pre-election PAN coalition, made up of the Kosovo Democratic Party, PDK, the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, AAK, and the Initiative for Kosovo, NISMA, waiting to propose a candidate for Speaker until they had the necessary votes secured.

There was a breakthrough on Monday when Behgjet Pacolli, leader of the political party New Kosovo Alliance, AKR, announced his party’s departure from the pre-election LAA coalition. By that evening, he signed a deal with the PAN coalition.

PAN-AKR met with representatives of the Serbian List on Wednesday night to schedule today’s meeting. Media reports say the agreement was reached after AKR handed over the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development — which had been given to AKR when Pacolli signed the deal with PAN — to the Serbian List.

Political analysts weary of the new government say that the ‘flimsy’ coalition will lack strength to take major decisions, such as establishing the Association of Serb Majority Municipalities and demarcating the border with Montenegro.

Isa Mustafa, leader of AKR’s former pre-election coalition partner the Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, criticized the PAN-AKR agreement, saying that with it, “nobody is a winner.”

Opposition party Vetevendosje also reacted against the PAN-AKR partnership, with Albin Kurti, the party’s candidate for Prime Minister, saying that it puts the future of Kosovo’s new government in Serbia’s hands.

“Following last night’s agreement, the constitution of the Assembly and establishment of a new government is in [Serbian President Aleksandar] Vucic’s hands,” Kurti said the day after PAN-AKR’s meeting with the Serbian List.

The vote on Ramush Haradinaj’s proposed government is expected to happen on Saturday.

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07 September 2017 - 15:36

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