Opposition Calls for Overthrow of Government Amid EU Sanctions

The opposition strongly criticizes the Kurti Government following the imposition of 'reversible sanctions' by the EU and US against Kosovo.

Opposition parties in Kosovo believe that the overthrow of the current Government is the appropriate solution to the present situation, prompted by the tensions in the north of the country and followed by measures imposed by the European Union and the US.

Abelard Tahiri, the head of the Parliamentary Group of the opposition party PDK, made a declaration calling for the overthrow of the Kurti Government, considering Prime Minister Albin Kurti to be isolated.

AAK and LDK, the other two opposition parties, have also demanded the overthrow of the Government.

Tahiri stated, “Foreign policy is suspended; we are led by an isolated, sanctioned PM. We are led by a failed majority.”

According to Tahiri, the EU’s measures are detrimental to Kosovo’s future Euro-Atlantic integration and its state-to-state relationships.

On July 3, the leadership council of PDK approved a 10-point declaration, which included suspending all official communication with PM Albin Kurti and President Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu, except in extraordinary or emergency situations, and called for early general elections.

Memli Krasniqi, the head of PDK, said, “We are facing a situation that nobody predicted: sanctions and punitive measures. Kosovo has been in the international media spotlight for a year now as a country that generates crises, especially during the last month. Kosovo is mentioned as a destabilizing factor in every regional or international security forum.”

Ramush Haradinaj, the leader of another opposition party, the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, believes that the Government should be overthrown through a vote of no confidence, stating that “the motion for the dismissal of Albin Kurti is in the national interest.”

In a Facebook post on Saturday, former PM Haradinaj called on both the opposition and majority deputies to actualize the motion of no confidence.

Haradinaj wrote, “Hesitation to act in such a deep crisis with unimaginable consequences for the country is complicity.”

For the same reason, the LDK boycotted the meeting of the Assembly Presidency on Monday.

“We, as the Parliamentary Group, believe that it is damaging for Kosovo, and it is impossible to act as if nothing has happened,” said Arben Gashi, the head of the LDK deputies.

The EU and the US have imposed punitive measures against Kosovo, citing the failure of Kosovo’s institutions to de-escalate the situation in the northern municipalities. These measures include the suspension of funds, military training, and high-level meetings.

In response to BIRN, an EU spokesperson stated that work has been temporarily halted in the working bodies within the framework of the Stabilization and Association Agreement, a mechanism for the European integration of Kosovo. Furthermore, Kosovo will not be invited to high-level meetings, and bilateral visits will be suspended, except those focused on addressing tensions in the north, the EU has warned.

The spokesperson mentioned that the EU informed Kosovo’s institutions about these measures on June 28, adding that the measures are entirely reversible depending on developments and decisions made by Kurti.

Radio Free Europe reported on Tuesday that Kosovo together with Montenegro, and the Republika Srpska entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina have been excluded from the grants approved by the European Union for projects within the Framework for Investments in the Western Balkans. The initiative, valued at 2.1 billion euros, primarily benefited Serbia, Albania, North Macedonia, and the Bosnian-Croat Federation.

De-escalation of the situation, new elections, and a return to dialogue are the three requirements mentioned by the international community for Kosovo and Serbia.

Despite international and opposition pressure, on July 3, Prime Minister Albin Kurti once again referred to these measures as unjust, stating that they are temporary.

On June 26, following a meeting with the foreign ministers of EU member states, the High Representative of the EU, Josep Borrell, declared that EU member states would take measures against Kosovo and Serbia if the situation does not de-escalate.

Protests and tensions in northern Kosovo began on May 26 when the newly elected Albanian leaders of Zveçan, Leposavic, and Zubin Potok entered the municipal buildings with the assistance of the police.

04/07/2023 - 15:44

04 July 2023 - 15:44

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