- Hoyt Yee: Kosovo needs a strong leadership (RTK)
- Die Welt: Early elections in Kosovo, games over power (RTK)
- Scott: Kosovo can have its army in the future (RTK)
- Albin Kurti, Vetevendosje’s candidate for Prime Minister (Epoka)
- AAK finalizes election ballot (Kosovapress)
- “I will not vote for corrupt politicians” campaign launched (media)
- OSCE with “monitoring” role in 11 June elections (Koha)
- Kosovo Police arrest two Serb youths on inciting hatred allegations (Bota Sot)
Hoyt Yee: Kosovo needs a strong leadership (RTK)
The United States Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, Hoyt Brian Yee said in an exclusive interview to RTK that Kosovo needs a strong leadership in order to reach national consensus on major pending issues. “In a country like Kosovo, where there are different opinions among different parties and leaders with regards to what is the right approach, this requires time, it is difficult. We and the international community know how hard this is. Nevertheless, it is important for people in Kosovo to come together, work together on joint aspirations,” Yee said. “For instance, it appears that there is no consensus between all the parties and leaders on the agreement for the border demarcation. This agreement has to pass. The international community has made it very clear that this agreement has to pass at the government and adopted by the Assembly in order for the country to gain visa-free travel,” Yee said.
Die Welt: Early elections in Kosovo, games over power (RTK)
The German daily, Die Welt, wrote on Thursday that the announcement of early elections in Kosovo is part of a political game behind the back of the people. Kosovo has reached economic progress, however the country has entered a political crisis which risks the achievements so far. “The President of the country, Hashim Thaci, has disbursed the parliament and opened way to new elections. It appears like a normal procedure, however, political games for power, corruption and war crimes stand behind,” notes the paper. According to Die Welt, “the successful Prime Minister, Isa Mustafa, who is an economist and experienced Minister on agriculture and economy, has become victim of all this”. Welt stresses that the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) is a strong party that derived from the KLA war and that President Hashim Thaci was the leader of this party for a long time. The paper also writes about investigations of the Special Court on different PDK individuals and notes that in case of victory, this party could defend these people. “It appears that this was the calculation when PDK voted to bring down the government. However these games are being played behind the backs of the people, who can rejoice certain improvements of the economic situation, ever since Isa Mustafa became Prime Minister in 2014,” Die Welt notes.
Scott: Kosovo can have its army in the future (RTK)
The U.S. Ambassador to Serbia, Kyle Scott said on Thursday in Belgrade that he expects creation of Kosovo’s army in the future, but that it is important for this to happen in accordance with the Constitution of Kosovo. “The U.S. always talked about the cooperation with Kosovo Security Force and we expect that Kosovo’s army will also exist in the future, but this has to be done through Kosovo’s constitutional way,” Scott said. Asked about possible election of Ramush Haradinaj as Prime Minister of Kosovo, Scott said he does not answer hypothetical questions. He stressed that with the new administration, the U.S. policy for Balkans remains unchanged, being that the U.S. policy is based on interests and not personalities. He added that the Balkans did not appear at all during the presidential campaign, and assessed this as a positive sign that the U.S. does not consider the Balkans to be a region of crisis. He mentioned support for the independence of Kosovo, unity of Bosnia and Herzegovina and election of the new FYROM leadership, as basis of the U.S. policy.
Albin Kurti, Vetevendosje’s candidate for Prime Minister (Epoka)
The General Council of the Vetevendosje Movement nominated on Thursday Albin Kurti as their candidate for Prime Minister of Kosovo. Vetevendosje leader Visar Ymeri said his party was making the necessary preparations for the elections “which are a referendum against crime, corruption, Association of Serb-majority Municipalities and the border demarcation with Montenegro”.
AAK finalizes election ballot (Kosovapress)
The Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) has finalized its election ballot which is headed by its leader Ramush Haradinaj, reports Kosovapress quoting sources. Haradinaj is followed by Ahmet Isufi, Pal Lekaj, Gazmend Abrashi and Blerim Kuci. It also includes Daut Haradinaj, the party newcomer Halil Matoshi. The ballot consists of 39 candidates, of which 11 are women.
“I will not vote for corrupt politicians” campaign launched (media)
Most media report that the Pristina-based coalition of non-governmental organizations Democracy in Action launched on Thursday a campaign “I will not vote for corrupt politicians”. The campaign is aimed at raising awareness among the public not to vote for corrupt politicians and to convince political parties not to include corrupt politicians on their election lists.
OSCE with “monitoring” role in 11 June elections (Koha)
Kosovo’s Central Election Commission (CEC) and the OSCE Mission in Kosovo are negotiating a role for the OSCE in the upcoming parliamentary elections. Citing unnamed sources, the paper reports that the OSCE is seeking a monitoring role in the four northern Serb municipalities. The paper recalls that such a role was not granted to the OSCE in the extraordinary elections in Drenas/Gllogoc last year, despite the fact that the request was made on behalf of the Quint countries. Members of the CEC meanwhile have said that any organizational role for the OSCE would be legally ungrounded and anti-constitutional.
Kosovo Police arrest two Serb youths on inciting hatred allegations (Bota Sot)
Kosovo Police arrested two Serb youths on suspicion of spraying offensive graffiti on the walls of a school in the village of Plemetin, Obiliq/Obilic municipality. The graffiti was written on 19 and 20 April but because of the sensitivity of the issue the police are reported to have dedicated a great deal of effort in identifying the suspects.