One week after his election as Prime Minister, Albin Kurti faces a constitutional challenge from his own government partner, Srpska Lista – which is demanding two ministers in government, not one.
The Belgrade-backed Kosovo Serb party Srpska Lista submitted a complaint to Kosovo’s Constitutional Court on Monday, seeking a ruling against the decision of Prime Minister Albin Kurti to give them only one ministry in his new cabinet instead of the usual two.
The move comes one week after Kosovo’s parliament elected Vetevendosje head Albin Kurti as Prime Minister.
Srpska Lista, which has 10 seats in the 120-seat parliament, said that its aim was “to protect the interests of the Serbian people”.
The complaint was pre-announced when Kurti’s government won its endorsement in parliament, with Srpska Lista representative claiming that Kurti was “violating the [Kosovo] constitution since the first day”.
As a result, Srpska Lista MPs refused to vote for the new government and voted only for its own representative in the cabinet, Goran Rakic, appointed Minister for Returns and Communities.
“Srpska Lista expects the Constitutional Court to decide in accordance with the constitutional right to respect the rights of … the Serbian people and also other minority communities,” the press release read.
“The decision to deny Serbs the right procedure in institutions at central level is against legal provisions,” it added.
Kosovo’s constitution grants non-majority communities obligatory representation in government although the exact number of ministers depends on the overall number of ministries.
Article 96 says: “There shall be at least one minister from the Kosovo Serb community and one minister from another Kosovo non-majority community. If there are more than 12 ministers, the government shall have a third minister representing a Kosovo non-majority community.”
Kurti’s cabinet insists it has done nothing wrong in appointing only one Serbian cabinet minister.
“Constitutional provisions which determine the representation of non-majority communities in the government of the Republic of Kosovo are very clear and the cabinet was proposed and elected based on these provisions,” Kurti’s spokesperson, Perparim Kryeziu, told BIRN.
“We are convinced that we fully respected the constitution when the government was elected on March 22 and that non-majority communities are represented in accordance with the constitution,” Kryeziu added.
29 March 2021 - 17:30