Kosovo Parliament. | Photo: Atdhe Mulla.

MPs to vote again on special court

The Kosovo parliament will hold an extraordinary session over the summer to vote on amendments enabling the formation of a controversial war crimes court, according to BIRN sources.

Foreign Minister Hashim Thaci, some of whose party members have opposed the plan, appears confident that parliament will approve the changes in an upcoming session. “We will have the necessary votes to create the Special Court in the Kosovo assembly,” Thaci said on July 14.

He added that parliament won’t schedule a new session until the government is sure that the amendments will pass.

While opinion in Kosovo is bitterly divided over the creation of a court to try war crimes committed by the Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, the international community insists it must be established, with or without the approval of Kosovo’s own institutions.

The government has been repeatedly warned that the UN Security Council will form the court if Kosovo fails to do the job itself.

The most recent call for Kosovo to establish the court came from US diplomat Victoria Nuland on her visit to Kosovo on July 12.

“If you don’t create this court yourselves, if you don’t take your own steps for justice… the international community will do it instead,” she warned.

“When that happens, you’ll lose control over the way that it’s created… and frankly, your relationship with the international community could be put on hold while that process goes forward,” Nuland said.

Deputies failed to approve constitutional amendments aimed at paving the way for the establishment of the court on June 26.

Only 75 MPs voted for the amendments. Eighty were needed to reach the two-thirds threshold of all parliamentarians required for changes to the constitution.

Analysts say divisions in parliament merely reflect divisions in Kosovo society. Many suspect that the court will cast a shadow over the legitimacy of the Kosovo Albanian struggle for independence against Serbia’s repressive rule.

20/07/2015 - 08:52

20 July 2015 - 08:52

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.