Photo: BIRN.

Thaci issues third invitation to meet with Kurti

Vetevendosje leader Albin Kurti received a third invitation from Kosovo President Hashim Thaci to discuss the formation of Kosovo’s next government on Monday, with LDK and Vetevendosje still yet to reach a coalition agreement.

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci has invited Vetevendosje leader Albin Kurti for a Tuesday morning meeting at the Office of the President.

Thaci’s invitation on Monday is his third attempt to meet Kurti since Friday, in an effort to consult the Vetevendosje leader over who the president should propose as Kosovo’s next prime minister to the Kosovo Assembly, which was constituted on December 26

“With the aim of functionalizing the institutions of the Republic of Kosovo as soon as possible, as President of the Republic of Kosovo, I will undertake all constitutional steps to make that happen,” the invitation reads.

Kosovo’s constitution requires that the president, in consultation with Vetevendosje, must propose a prime minister to the new Kosovo Assembly. The new prime minister is then given 15 days to propose a new government to the Assembly, requiring approval through a majority vote. 

Kurti declined Thaci’s two previous invitations, writing that he was unavailable. “Thank you for the two invitations to meet today, invitations that were first made public in portals before reaching our office,” Kurti wrote on Friday, adding that he is willing to discuss the formation of the government “in the coming days” without specifying any dates. 

Later on Monday, Kurti also declined Thaci’s offer to meet on December 31, again stating that it was impossible for him. He proposed a meeting on January 6, at any time that works for the president.

Thaci’s invitations come at a time when Kurti’s Vetevendosje and the Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, are still yet to sign a governing deal, more than 80 days since October’s election.

Although negotiations concerning the two parties’ governing program and composition of the coalition government were reportedly concluded, LDK’s stipulation to include the nomination of the next president of Kosovo, who will be elected in Spring 2021, has prevented the signing of a conclusive deal to form the coalition. 

Despite the lack of an agreement, the inaugural session of the new Kosovo Assembly was held on December 26, and saw Vetevendosje’s Glauk Konjufca elected as the new Speaker of the Assembly. 

Agreements reached in principle between the parties reportedly included the condition that a representative of LDK would take the Speaker’s chair, and LDK leader Isa Mustafa described Konjufca’s election as a “return to point zero” for negotiations.

Kurti said on Sunday that a date for the formation of the government would be set by LDK and not the president, and that a deal can be tailored between the two parties during January.

In response to Kurti’s statement, LDK leader Mustafa stressed the importance of establishing functioning institutions as quickly as possible. “LDK does not set dates. The dates are decided by the subject who comes first in the election, the one who has the mandate to form the government,” Mustafa wrote in a Facebook post. “LDK insists on forming the institutions as soon as possible and this doesn’t mean that LDK necessarily should be part of the government.”

Vetevendosje have repeatedly stated that if LDK refuses to enter into a coalition government, the possibility of organizing another parliamentary election should not be excluded.

*This article was amended to include Kurti’s most recent response.

30/12/2019 - 14:26

30 December 2019 - 14:26

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