Thaci pushes forward with proceedings to form new govt

Following meetings with party leaders, President Hashim Thaci has asked Vetevendosje to provide a new candidate to mandate Kosovo’s next government.

President Hashim Thaci sent a letter to Vetevendosje leader Albin Kurti on Thursday, requesting a new candidate to mandate Kosovo’s next government.

Citing Article 95 of the Kosovo Constitution, Thaci stated that, as the party that won the most votes in the October 6 elections, Vetevendosje has the right to propose a new candidate, following the vote of no confidence in the incumbent government on March 25.

The letter follows a series of meetings between the president and leaders of political parties represented in the Kosovo Assembly, to discuss how to proceed following the vote of no confidence, and in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Following his meeting with Thaci on Wednesday, Kurti, who is also acting Prime Minister, stated that the only way forward was through new elections held later in the year. 

“I know we are in an intensive battle against coronavirus and that can potentially delay the date of elections, but the Kosovo Constitution does not offer any other alternatives,” Kurti said. 

Following Thaci’s letter, second deputy leader of Vetevendosje Fatmire Kollcaku, spoke of a “robbery of power, contrary to the constitution.”

However, the majority of parties represented in the Kosovo Assembly appear to be in favour of the formation of a new government without going to the polls. 

On Wednesday, both PDK leader Kadri Veseli and LDK leader Isa Mustafa spoke out against fresh elections, with Mustafa speaking of the need to form a new government that would have “the full capacity to fight against coronavirus.”

Following his meeting with Thaci on Thursday, AAK leader and former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj echoed Mustafa’s sentiments. 

The AAK  thinks it is safer for Kosovo to have a government voted in by the Assembly than to continue with a government dismissed by the Assembly,” Haradinaj told a press conference after meeting Thaci. “At the same time we do not see that it is possible to go to the polls at this time. The next government may be on a temporary basis, but the announcement of elections at this time is impossible.”

Albert Kinolli, the representative for the 6+ group, which represents Kosovo’s ethnic minority communities, also stated that in the current circumstances, the best course of action is the formation of “a new and stable government,” while respecting constitutional principles. 

Nisma leader Fatmir Limaj also reiterated his call to avoid the dissolution of the Assembly, which would trigger an election within 45 days, following his meeting with President Thaci on Thursday.

Vetevendosje’s reluctance to form a new government prior to elections now raises questions about whether the party will in fact present a new candidate for prime minister to Thaci. 

Professor of Constitutional Law, Mazllum Baraliu, who previously stood as a candidate for Vetevendosje at the 2014 parliamentary election, has stated that the constitution does not provide any deadline by which Vetevendosje is required to respond – and that this may produce another political crisis.

“There is no time limit, there is a constitutional vacuum,” Baraliu told Koha Ditore, adding that the party may disregard any time which may be considered reasonable to respond,  potentially even indefinitely, which may result in a political stalemate.

02/04/2020 - 18:23

02 April 2020 - 18:23

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