Kosovo: Ruling Party Officials Hint At Snap Polls

By Die Morina, Kaltrina Rexhepi

Politicians from Kosovo’s ruling coalition predicted that the ruling alliance of parties could split soon and that there could be snap elections in the country.

Shkuri Buja, an MP with the ruling Kosovo Democratic Party, PDK, which is currently in government with its junior partner, the Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, told BIRN on Tuesday that the break-up of the coalition is near.

“There are such tendencies and I hope that the PDK leadership will consider it by the end of this week or next week and make a decision to break up the coalition,” Buja told BIRN.

“I am inclined to believe that the Democratic Party will soon make decisions for the country to go to snap elections,” he added.

Asked to comment on the possibility of snap elections, the deputy head of the LDK, Lutfi Haziri, told BIRN that this week will be “interesting” for the country, but did not specify what he expected to happen.

“This is an interesting week and we will see how it will end, there will be interesting developments involving demarcation,” Haziri said, adding that the LDK hadn’t been asked about snap elections by the PDK.

The long-contested agreement on border demarcation with Montenegro, which still needs to be ratified by parliament and is being pushed by the EU as a top-priority issue, may well decide the fate of the ruling coalition under Prime Minister and LDK leader Isa Mustafa.

This because the current ruling alliance may not have enough votes in parliament to ensure the deal is adopted. It needs 80 out of 120 MPs’ votes in favour.

The European Union has put ratification of the controversial border agreement with Montenegro at the top of its conditions for visa liberalisation.

Prime Minister Isa Mustafa travelled in Brussels on Monday, hoping to be granted some more time to postpone the vote parliament, but once again was urged to finish the process as soon as possible.

A joint statement from EU Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos and Mustafa after their meeting in Brussels on Tuesday said that the Brussels official “encouraged Prime Minister Mustafa, his government and the political parties to proceed with the vote in the Assembly soon”.

Opposition parties have so far prevented the agreement from being adopted.

Three opposition parties, Vetevendosje, the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, AAK, and NISMA, fiercely contest it, claiming it deprives Kosovo of thousands of hectares of land.

The deal was set to be put to a vote in parliament last September but, amid opposition protests outside the building, Mustafa withdrew it from the agenda.

Balkan Insight

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (fornerkt the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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