Assembly of Kosovo. Photo: Atdhe Mulla.

Ruling party, Opposition, Trade Blame About Crisis in KEK

The opposition and the ruling party have exchanged barbs in parliament over the situation in the Kosovo Energy Corporation following the arrest of its chief, Nagip Krasniqi.

The Kosovo Assembly on Wednesday held a parliamentary debate on recent developments in the Kosovo Energy Corporation, KEK, and on the responsibility of central institutions in the energy sector.

The debate followed the arrest of the head of KEK, Nagip Krasniqi, on April 19, on suspicion of misuse of his position or official authority, exercise of influence and conflict of interest.

A day later, the Court of Prishtina ordered 30 days of detention for Krasniqi, while the corporation’s board suspended him from work.

The MP and chair of the opposition Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK, Memli Krasniqi, said the government’s behaviour regarding Krasniqi’s case was surprising.

“The PM [Albin Kurti] comes here and protects his friend and fellow party member, the now famous Nagip Krasniqi, but then starts attacking and blackmailing the entire justice system,” he said in parliament on Wednesday. 

The PDK has signalled that it will send 30 KEK contracts to the Prosecutor’s Office for investigation, claiming more than 70 million euros have been abused.

Meanwhile, an MP from another opposition party, the Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, Driton Selmanaj, said Krasniqi’s suspension came only after the opposition called an extraordinary parliamentary session on this issue, adding that “this shows that the board [of KEK] should be immediately dismissed.”

“We welcome the board’s decision to suspend Krasniqi, although we have not seen the decision [document] yet,” said Selmanaj. 

An MP and chairman of another opposition party, the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, AAK, Ramush Haradinaj, accused the ruling Vetëvendosje party and its chief of corruption.

“Kurti is the boss of the corrupt, the creator of the … ‘buddy’ model. He believes that only his buddies are uncorrupted, and if the prosecutor is not a buddy, he is corrupted,” Haradinaj said.

The head of the deputies of Vetëvendosje in the Assembly, Mimoza Kusari-Lila, criticized the opposition for their positions in the Assembly.

“The opposition is trying to use a mechanism in which they still have influence, that of the prosecution, to turn the Assembly hall into a courtroom,” ssid Kusari-Lila.

After the arrest of Krasniqi, Kurti said last week that there was a negative political mood against the government in the Prosecutor’s Office.

He added that all this was related to the Acting Chief Prosecutor of the Special Prosecution, Blerim Isufaj.

“[Isufaj] is known as the chief prosecutor who has not won any case in the courts, and this particular prosecutor will [only] become chief prosecutor against the will of the President, the PM  and the Speaker of parliament,” he added.

“We know there have been many chiefs of the KEK in the past, there have been staggering abuses, but they have never been dealt with by the justice system, namely by the Prosecutor’s Office,” Kurti said on April 20 in the Assembly.

MPs of the ruling Vetëvendosje party claimed the arrest was revenge by Isufaj, who does not have the support of President Vjosa Osmani, PM Kurti and Parliament Speaker Glauk Konjufca to be made permanent Chief State Prosecutor, as Balkan Insight reported. 

Isufaj was voted in as head prosecutor in April 2022, and his file is awaiting the President’s decree.

“Is he taking revenge for not being able to become Chief Prosecutor?” ruling party MP Artan Abrashi asked on Facebook. 

Another MP, Arber Rexhaj, wrote: “You [Isufaj] want to become Chief Prosecutor at any cost and at any price?! He has great embarrassment somewhere and not even a little support from anyone.”

Krasniqi was elected director of the KEK in October 2021 by a temporary board appointed by the Kurti-led government at the time, without a public competition. However, he also received the highest points from the monitors of the British embassy in Kosovo.

The Kosovo Energy Corporation is the main energy company in the country. Its assets are fully owned by the government.

26/04/2023 - 16:39

26 April 2023 - 16:39

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.