PDK, AAK and Nisma për Kosovën reach pre-electoral agreement
The Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) and Nisma për Kosovën have reached agreement on pre-electoral coalition.
These three parties also submitted this agreement to the Central Elections Commission few minutes prior to the deadline for submission of pre-electoral coalitions, Klan Kosova portal reported shortly after midnight.
In the meantime, the CEC political party registration office director, Miradije Mavriqi, confirmed to Radio and Television of Kosovo at 00:30hrs that PDK, AAK, and Nisma për Kosovën have reached agreement to jointly run in 11 June elections.
LDK enters electoral race with Avdullah Hoti as its candidate for PM
(All monitored broadcasters, KTV)
Avdullah Hoti is LDK’s candidate for Prime Minister in early elections that will be held on 11 June. His candidacy was made public by the LDK chairman, Isa Mustafa, following the Presidency meeting of this party.
After becoming a candidate for PM, Hoti said he is convinced that together with the right-wing coalition they will win elections.
Few hours after, LDK signed a pre-electoral coalition with ‘Alternativa’. They qualified this coalition as a coalition of programmatic principles.
Alternativa’s deputy chairman, Ilir Deda, was asked about his vote for ousting Isa Mustafa’s Government, with whom he entered coalition.
“It is very important that a wide political and social block is being created which will end PDK’s governance,” Deda said.
LDK chairman, Isa Mustafa, also expects a pre-electoral coalition with the AKR. LDK signed pre-electoral coalition with Lëvizjen për Drejtësi [Movement for Justice], which is a fraction of Justice Party chaired by Sylejman Qerkezi.
In the later news editions, TV broadcasters reported that LDK also reached pre-electoral coalition with Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AKR) of Behgjet Pacolli.
It was also reported that PDK reached agreement with the Albanian Christian Democratic Party of Kosovo, while Vetëvendosje will run alone in these elections.
CEC might not recognize Alternativa’s coalition with LDK
Thirty days is the time that a political party must wait before being certified as such at the Central Elections Commission. This, according to the CEC chairperson, Valdete Daka, is the reason why the Alternative of Mimoza Kusari-Lila did not manage to register as a political party.
But, Ilir Deda said that it is the opposite. According to him, Daka and the CEC refused to register Alternativa, which had filed a request prior to dissolution of the Assembly of Kosovo.
Daka says that Alternativa might be part of LDK, but not also reach coalition with it, but Deda still claims the opposite.
Agani aims governmental post, despite indictment
Although he has the burden of the indictment on “Stent” affair, Ferid Agani, through the Democratic Party of Kosovo, is aiming to return to his old seat to once again lead the health sector, KTV reported. Agani said he left the work at half, in particular the process that he claims he started, the one of establishment of public health insurances.
During Tuesday, Agani made coalition of his party with PDK official, while the latter signed pre-electoral agreement with six other political parties.
PDK chairman, Kadri Veseli, also formalised agreements with the Republican Party of Faton Kurti, Conservatory Party of Munir Basha, National Front, and the Liberal Party.
In the meantime, KTV reported that Justice Party MP, Labinotë Demi, left this party. Demi said she will no longer be part of leading structures of this party due to recent developments that occurred in this political entity.
On the other hand, the former independent Member of the Assembly of Kosovo, Margarita Kadriu, completely withdrew from politics. In her justification of this decision, she portrayed the party, part of which she was until lately – PDK, as ‘a sophisticated corporation where all leaders have their share.’
AAK reaches pre-electoral coalitions with two parties
Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) reached agreement on pre-electoral coalition for 11 June elections with the Social-Democratic Party and National Front of Kosovo.
The signing act was done at the AAK premises by its chairman Ramush Haradinaj and representative chairmen of these two parties, Bajram Kelmendi and Selman Berisha.
New elections without electoral reform
Kosovo is entering another round of elections without electoral reform. The initiative for reforming of electoral system started six years ago, as an agreement of political leaders of the time, following industrial ballot theft of 2010, KTV reported.
Experts express their fear that citizens’ votes might also be abused this time again.
The Central Elections Commission chairperson, Valdete Daka, says that it would be good not only for the CEC, but also the political parties, if the reform would have been completed.
Artan Murati of Kosovo Democratic Institute says that recent initiative of Kosovo President, Hashim Thaçi, was good but it failed because there cannot be any reform without the opposition.
On the other hand, analyst Imer Mushkolaj says that all initiatives for reform were exclusively for leaders’ interests. According to him, the agreement of 2011 was reached to shift the debate from industrial ballot theft that happened in 2010 elections
Mushkolaj expressed his fear that there will be abuses in these elections, too.
Çitaku: UNSC 1244 Resolution outdated
(All monitored broadcasters, RTK1)
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNMIK in Kosovo, Zahir Tanin, presenting his quarterly report on Kosovo at the United Nations Security Council, emphasized that the dialogue between Prishtinë/Pristina and Belgrade has, as he said, practically stood in abeyance for some months now.
“It’s important to note that the Mitrovica/Mitrovicë wall dispute was resolved peacefully through negotiations, and the initial determination to form a Kosovo army by legislative amendments has calmed,” said SRSG Tanin.
Zanin’s speech is available at: https://unmik.unmissions.org/sites/default/files/eng_srsg_zahir_tanin_statement_16may2017.pdf
On the other hand, Kosovo Ambassador to the United States Vlora Çitaku stated that Resolution 1244 is outdated.
“While we are and we will remain committed to dialogue, we are tired of double-standards, double games and ambiguity. Serbia, on one hand, tells us that they are for peace and reconciliation and on the other hand, every-day they are misusing Interpol’s Red Notice System and issuing arrest warrants against our leaders and freedom fighters,” Ambassador Çitaku said.
But the Serbian Minister of Justice, Nela Kuburovic, accused Kosovo for not meeting its international obligations. She said that this Resolution  is the ground for solution of the Kosovo issue, and it guarantees Serbia’s territorial integrity.
In the meantime, Ambassadors of UNSC member states expressed their already known stances. Western Ambassadors commended Kosovo’s progress, while Russia and few other member states said that situation in Kosovo is deteriorating.
Tadic: Association will be established with Kosovo laws
Commenting the Association of Serb majority municipalities, the former President of Serbia Boris Tadic said that no one knows whether it will be an institution or a nongovernmental organization, KTV portal reported.
“It is more than true that this Association will be established within the laws of Kosovo Constitution, which has been accepted by this Government of Serbia,” Tadic told Radio Television of Vojvodina.
Tadic considers that Serbia should request an amendment of Brussels Agreement and inclusion of Serbian cultural heritage in Kosovo in dialogue because, as he said, Serbia is losing its majority in UNESCO.
KFOR clarifies deployment of U.S. troops in Kosovo
KFOR reported that the upcoming deployment of U.S. troops is a routine hand over- take over procedure taking place between two rotating U.S. contingents not additional U.S. contribution. KTV portal published the entire KFOR release which reads:
”On May 15th and 16th, 2017, there were media reports in both Serbian and Kosovo-Albanian media that the United States is sending an additional 130 soldiers to KFOR in support to NATO’s efforts to build peace and stability in Kosovo.
The upcoming deployment of US troops is a routine hand over – take over procedure taking place between two rotating U.S. contingents not additional U.S. contribution.
KFOR continues its activities to maintain a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all the people of Kosovo, in accordance with UNSC Resolution 1244.
Any decision on the KFOR force posture and structure is taken by the North Atlantic Council, based on the security conditions on the ground.”
Lumezi dissatisfied with prosecutors’ work in fighting corruption
During a meeting of Kosovo Prosecutorial Council (KPC), the Chief State Prosecutor Aleksandër Lumezi expressed his dissatisfaction with the poor engagement of prosecutors in the fight against corruption and organized crime. He emphasized that there are no justifications for absence of prosecutors’ in trials treating corruption cases.
Lumezi demanded more engagement from prosecutors in fighting corruption and organized crime.