Shpend Ahmeti after winning the mayoral seat in 2017 general elections. | Photo: Atdhe Mulla

Prishtina Mayor Shpend Ahmeti leaves Vetevendosje

Shpend Ahmeti resigns from Vetevendosje, deepening the protracted crisis inside the main opposition party in Kosovo.

Prishtina Mayor Shpend Ahmeti has resigned from the political party Vetevendosje after seven years of membership, citing internal party disputes. The news was confirmed by municipal communications officer Adonis Tahiri.

“Disagreements have harmed the spirit, faith, and consequently the cause [of Vetevendosje]. I no longer believe that the organization in the present state is the fastest path to change, at least not in line with my attitudes and beliefs,” he wrote in his resignation letter, which is circulating in Kosovo media.

In December of last year, an internal rift between party leadership was leaked to the media. Several MPs have since resigned from their party leadership positions, including former party leader Visar Ymeri and former secretary Dardan Molliqaj, over internal disputes and interpersonal clashes.

Ahmeti was among the founders of the Fryma e Re (New Spirit) party in 2010. After the party failed to reach the five per cent threshold in the 2010 general elections, which international observers said were marred by widespread fraud, Ahmeti joined Vetevendosje in 2011. He won the mayoral seat for the second time in the 2017 local elections, promising political unity and a social democratic platform.

“After the recent happenings in Vetevendosje, [the resignation] was something expected to a degree given that he was one of the main people who tried the hardest to keep Vetevendosje together,” Vetevendosje MP and former Fryma e Re ally Fisnik Ismaili told Prishtina Insight.

Ahmeti pledged that his party resignation would not detract from his duties as Prishtina Mayor.

“Prishtina citizens assure me that my political future is more connected to the capital than ever. I am aware that perhaps we may have more difficulty in the Municipal Assembly, but attitudes and beliefs are more important than comfort,” his letter says.  

07/03/2018 - 22:03

07 March 2018 - 22:03

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.