ISSN 2330-717X

Kurti: I Am Preparing For Government


By Bujar Aruqaj

Support for Vetevendosje is growing by the day, the leader of Vetevendosje Albin Kurti said in an interview with BIRN.

Albin Kurti, the enfant terrible of Kosovo politics, says his party, once a street movement, is preparing to govern Kosovo.

In an interview with BIRN’s television show, Jeta ne Kosove, Kurti said that Vetevendosje is offering the only genuine opposition to the government in parliament.

“Many have said that we will not know how to act within the institutions,” he said, referring to the movement’s voyage from the streets to parliament. “But, we were the ones who called the most motions in the parliament. We were the ones who took the most initiatives.

We will also know how to govern when it will be our turn to be in power.”

He said that VV was developing a programme which will harness Kosovo’s strengths, and not a passive programme which waits for “miracles to come from outside”.

The media, he complained, does not present the diversity of the activities Vetvendosje carries out, focusing on its protests and attitude towards Serbia.

He also questioned the silence of the country’s “intellectual elite” on the country’s major challenges.

Kurti, however, conceded that VV’s protests had faded recently.

“We are examining the causes,” he said. “Perhaps we didn’t know how to do something. Of course, we are far from being perfect,” he said.

He insisted that people are increasingly disappointed with the current regime.

“Vetevendosje is the infrastructure for the dissatisfied,” he said.

“The number of our supporters is growing, but also the fear.”

He said that the Prime Minister’s extreme statements in the run-up to VV’s January 21 protests showed that Hashim Thaci was concerned.

“There is no democracy if you only vote once every four years, and even this vote gets stolen,” he said.

“Sociopolitical statistics show that there should be protests every day in this country.”

Kurti also addressed recent allegations leveled at him by the PDK parliamentarian Bekim Haxhiu, known as Kamishi.

Haxhiu claimed to have obtained various police reports which detailed Kurti’s cooperation with Serbs.

Kurti said he would not discuss the veracity of the allegations, but hit back saying that half of the current PDK assembly members were former members of its secret service, SHIK.

“The campaign was launched against us when we asked the prime minister about his meetings with Serbian President Boris Tadic,” he said.

In US diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks, secret meetings between Prime Minister Thaci and the President of Serbia are discussed. “When they meet with other leaders it is everywhere on the media. Why were the meetings with Tadic secret?” asked Kurti.

He believes that the allegations against him were made in order to deflect the attention of the public from the latest worrying developments in Kosovo. “They thought that they could blackmail me but they can no longer blackmail me and no other member of Vetevendosje ,” he said.

The former spokesman of the Kosovo Liberation Army also criticised some of its former members for misusing their reputation and enriching themselves in the name of the war, now and for the past 12 years. “I have respect for all those who contributed to the liberation, but the KLA does not mean amnesty: one year’s war, and 12 years businessman.

They are behaving like the population owes them something, “said Kurti.

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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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