Kosovo Government’s Legality Questioned After PM’s Resignation – OpEd


Kosovo’s outgoing prime minister Ramush Haradinaj, who resigned last week, said he will ask the Constitutional Court to decide if his cabinet can legally make decisions until a new government is in place.

By Perparim Isufi

One week after unexpectedly announcing his resignation as prime minister, Ramush Haradinaj convened his cabinet on Friday amid uncertainty about whether or not his government is now legally entitled to take any decisions before new elections.

Haradinaj, who referred to himself as the “former prime minister” at a press conference after the cabinet meeting, insisted that he will not allow a “vacuum of governance” until a new administration is in place.

“As head of the government, I will address the Constitutional Court for an interpretation,” Haradinaj said.

Haradinaj announced his resignation last Friday after he was summoned for questioning as a suspect by the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office in The Hague, which is probing wartime and post-war crimes in Kosovo.

He said he could not be Kosovo’s prime minister and a suspect at the same time.

Deputy Prime Minister Enver Hoxhaj, from Haradinaj’s coalition partner, the Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK, questioned the legality of any decision that the outgoing premier’s government might make.

“I think that we need a legal interpretation. We can address topics that are urgent, but we cannot go on with the others,” Hoxhaj said on Friday.

Haradinaj said while resigning last week that the Kosovo government will continue functioning, but warned that new parliamentary elections would be coming soon.

President Hashim Thaci on Thursday announced that he will meet leaders of political parties next week “to overcome the situation created after the resignation of prime minister”.

However, opposition political parties have been strongly urging Thaci to announce a date for new elections.

“Snap elections [should be held] sooner rather than later,” opposition Vetevendosje (Self-Determination) party MP Albulena Haxhiu said on Friday, arguing that it was not legitimate for Haradinaj’s government to take any decisions.

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (formerly 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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