By Muhamet Brajshori
For the second time in only a few months, Kosovo is again without a president. A court ruling on Wednesday (March 30th) found that members of parliament had breached the constitution when they voted on February 22nd to elect businessman Behgjet Pacolli as head of state, despite the lack of a required quorum.
Experts say the institutional disarray is the last thing Kosovo needs at a time when the self-declared state is struggling to cement its international status and bolster its struggling economy.
“Kosovo needs economic stability, strong and stable institutions,” wrote Adrian Arifaj, a member of the Foreign Policy Club, in Gazeta Express. “This is a setback for Kosovo’s institutions, a waste of time and a blow to Kosovo’s efforts to show itself as an serious factor on the international scene.”
Political analyst Milaim Shefkiu agrees, writing that “the crisis is continuing to get deeper. The country once again is sinking into an institutional morass.”
Writing at Zeri, KIPRED Institute Executive Director Krenar Gashi lauds the constitutional court for demonstrating judicial independence. But he also voices concern that the crisis could bolster perceptions that Kosovo risks becoming a failed state.
“After the decision, the chances that Behgjet Pacolli is going to be re-elected are small. The opposition parties might again boycott parliament, and this would lead to the lack of quorum,” he writes, predicting further trouble ahead.
Teki Dervishi is not so sure about the judges’ alleged independence. “This Court has taken political decisions in three cases, based on arguments which have no legal ground,” he writes. “As a result, its role is to create a political crisis in Kosovo, to turn Kosovo into an unstable state and unleash a permanent institutional crisis.”
Speaking to SETimes, political commentator Fatlum Sadiku said that constitutional court decisions “always have an implication in political terms”.
“This was the case with Fatmir Sejdiu, who resigned, and because of his resignation his party left the coalition, making Kosovo go into snap elections. That will be the case again with Pacolli,” he said.
Admirers of the entrepreneur-turned-president have been vocal in defending him. “No politician in Kosovo has energy for work as him,” writes Arta at Koha.net.
“I believe you’ll be back in your post as a strong president; Kosovo needs people like you,” agrees Beku, writing at Express Online.