ISSN 2330-717X

Kosovo: Confusion Reigns Over President’s Future

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Confusion reigns over the future of Kosovo’s president, Beghjet Pacolli, after the country’s highest court found his election in breach of the constitution.

While news agencies have reported that Pacolli has stepped down after the consitutional court ruled his election illegal, he has not officially announced his resignation and it remains unclear if he will do so.

Balkan Insight contacted Pacolli’s office, but his advisors declined to comment on the reports.

Ibrahim Gashi, a political adviser to Pacolli, told reporters on Wednesday afternoon:” The president of the Republic of Kosovo Behgjet Pacolli is ready to respect the decision (of the constitutional court)”.

“Pacolli will be the candidate of the coalition partners in the new election of a new president because he did not violate the constitution,” Gashi added.

According to the Court’s judgement, released in full on Wednesday, the election of Pacolli on February 22 violated the constitution because there was not a quorum of two-thirds of MPs present, and because more than one candidate must compete for the post.

Kosovo
Kosovo

In its ruling, the Constitutional Court said the election “was unconstitutional and shall no longer be in force.”

Pacolli took the oath of office on February 23 after he was voted in with 62 votes in favour and four against in the 120-seat assembly. Opposition parties boycotted the session.

In the first two rounds of voting in the parliament, Pacolli was not able to get the required two-thirds majority of votes. The third round required only a simple majority.

It is not yet clear how the presidential post will be filled if Pacolli does step down, though it is likely that a revote in parliament will take place. If the coalition partners are unable to garner enough votes to vote Pacolli back into office, it is possible that Kosovo will head to fresh elections.

Pacolli, the former leader of the New Kosovo Alliance, AKR, secured the post of president after his party agreed to form a coalition with the Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK, of Prime Minister Hashim Thaci.

His appointment and the formation of the government coalition followed December’s disputed, extraordinary general elections, which had been sparked by last summer’s Constitutional Court decision that the last president, Fatmir Sejdiu, could not also perform the role of head of his party, the LDK.

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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