Kosovo: Parties Call For Elections After PM’s Resignation


Kosovo’s governing and opposition parties want new elections after Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj resigned, but President Hashim Thaci has still not made the first move towards setting a date.

By Blerta Begisholli

Following the surprise resignation earlier this month of Kosovo’s premier Ramush Haradinaj, after he was invited for questioning as a suspect by war crimes prosecutors in The Hague, pressure has increased on President Hashim Thaci to call early elections.

None of the country’s ruling coalition partners seem interested in proposing a new prime minister and have said they are in favour of new elections.

But Thaci, who is responsible for calling a consultative meeting of the country’s governing parties and setting the date of the elections, has not yet done so, sparking criticism.

If Thaci does not act, MPs can dissolve parliament, and if this happens, the president is obliged to set an election date within 45 days.

“I would call on my colleagues from political parties to gather at the Assembly, dissolve the parliament and agree on an election date. This is the best solution,” urged speaker of parliament Kadri Veseli, RTK reported on Monday.

Outgoing premier Haradinaj met his governing coalition partners on Tuesday to discuss possible solutions to the situation, although representatives of Thaci’s Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK did not attend.

The party representatives discussed how, if Thaci does not call them for consultation and set a date for the polls, they intend to launch a motion to dissolve the parliament, thereby forcing Thaci to call elections.

“Whichever of the two possible scenarios happens, it is more than necessary to move forward. We cannot leave an institutional vacuum, a political vacuum. We need to have legitimate institutions as soon as possible,” Jeta Krasniqi from the Kosovo Democratic Institute told BIRN on Tuesday.

Albulena Haxhiu from the opposition Vetevendosje (Self-Determination) party has said parliament must be dissolved.

“The dissolution of parliament is the right path to elections, without the delays and obstructions of the president,” Haxhiu said last Thursday.

Lumir Abdixhiku, an MP from Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK claimed that Thaci was afraid that his Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK would lose the elections.

“That is why Thaci of the PDK does not set a date,” Abdixhiku said.

Outgoing premier Haradinaj, who resigned on July 19, has asked the Constitutional Court to decide if his cabinet can legally make decisions until a new government is in place.

Haradinaj has vowed that he will not allow a “vacuum of governance” until a new administration is in place, although his opponents have questioned whether he can continue to govern legitimately until new polls are held.

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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