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UNMIK Headlines 13 June

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• LDK, crucial for new government (Zeri)
• Big parties lose support in their traditional strongholds (Zeri/Koha)
• PAN enters post-election silence period (Koha Ditore)
• LDK-AKR-Alternativa vow not to cooperate with PAN (Koha)
• U.S. Embassy: Work on forming new government must begin (Zeri)
• Hahn: Hope it will not take months to establish new government (Epoka)
• Lunacek urges Kosovo to form new government swiftly (Kosova Sot)
• Serwer: LDK the biggest loser of elections (Lajmi)
• Deutsche Welle’s op-ed: Nationalism wins in Kosovo elections (Lajmi)

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Headlines – 13.06.2017 

  • LDK, crucial for new government (Zeri)
  • Big parties lose support in their traditional strongholds (Zeri/Koha)
  • PAN enters post-election silence period (Koha Ditore)
  • LDK-AKR-Alternativa vow not to cooperate with PAN (Koha)
  • U.S. Embassy: Work on forming new government must begin (Zeri)
  • Hahn: Hope it will not take months to establish new government (Epoka)
  • Lunacek urges Kosovo to form new government swiftly (Kosova Sot)
  • Serwer: LDK the biggest loser of elections (Lajmi)
  • Deutsche Welle’s op-ed: Nationalism wins in Kosovo elections (Lajmi)

 Kosovo Media Highlights 

LDK, crucial for new government (Zeri)

The Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) will be a decisive factor in the forming of a new Kosovo government, the paper writes on front page. The winning coalition between the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) and Initiative for Kosovo (NISMA), referred to as PAN, can only form a government with LDK votes or by “fishing” some of its MPs. “There is no other solution as it [PAN] lacks necessary numbers to gain a simple parliamentary majority”, the paper adds. Based on preliminary results, PAN would have 39 seats in the new Assembly, followed by Vetevendosje with 31 and LDK coalition with 30 MPs.

Big parties lose support in their traditional strongholds (Zeri/Koha)

Zeri reports that Sunday’s elections brought about huge changes not only at the central but also the local level. Traditional strongholds of theDemocratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) and the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), like Gjilan/Gnjilane, Ferizaj/Urosevac, Vitia/Vitina, Fushe Kosova/Kosovo Polje, Vushtrri/Vucitrn, Kacanik, Hani i Elezit/Djeneral Jankovic, and Kamenica, are now won over by Vetevendosje and political analysts see this as “punishment” for the two until now largest parties in Kosovo. Koha Ditore runs a similar story on the front page where it says that PDK votes in the region of Drenica have almost been halved while its support in other places has also suffered a blow. At the same time, LDK’s support has shrunk in places such as Pristina, Fushe Kosova/Kosovo Polje and Podujeva/Podujevo and even Istog/Istok, the birth place of party’s founder Ibrahim Rugova.

PAN enters post-election silence period (Koha Ditore)

While officials from the PAN coalition (Democratic Party of Kosovo, Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, Initiative for Kosovo) were quite vocal in the days leading up to elections, on Monday no one spoke, the paper reports. Furthermore, none of the leaders came out with an official position on the election results. Officials at PDK and AAK were unavailable for comment while Zafir Berisha from NISMA said that the coalition is still under the uncertainty of how much support each party has received and once this is learnt, “this issue will take a different turn”.

LDK-AKR-Alternativa vow not to cooperate with PAN (Koha)

Leaders of the coalition between the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), New Kosovo Alliance (AKR) and Alternativa, met in Pristina yesterday and said they remain united under one bloc and that they remain “steadfast” in their position against entering a coalition with the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK). The LDK-AKR-Alternativa coalition also agreed to be represented by LDK leader Isa Mustafa. 

U.S. Embassy: Work on forming new government must begin (Zeri)

The United States Embassy in Pristina issued a statement congratulated the people of Kosovo for holding democratic elections while also raising concern over reports of outdated votes lists, double voting and “sporadic” irregularities.  “The voters of Kosovo have spoken, and now the critical process of forming a new government must begin.  We look forward to working closely with whomever forms the new government”, the statement reads. 

Hahn: Hope it will not take months to establish new government (Epoka)

EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn said that he expects from Kosovo to establish the institutions deriving from 11 June elections as soon as possible. “I hope that it will not take months as it did last time, because there is a need for reforms,” Hahn said. According to him, the new institutions should continue with reforms related to European agenda and implementation of the Stabilization Association Agreement. 

Lunacek urges Kosovo to form new government swiftly (Kosova Sot)

Vice President of the European Parliament and rapporteur for Kosovo, Ulrike Lunacek, congratulated the people of Kosovo for “generally well organised and functioning elections” and urged political parties to swiftly form a new government ready to tackle various challenges and to continue Kosovo’s path towards the EU. 

Serwer: LDK the biggest loser of elections (Lajmi)

Former U.S. diplomat and expert on Balkans, Daniel Serwer, considers that the emergence of a KLA government will complicate an already complicated situation in Kosovo. “It will harden attitudes among Serbs, both within Kosovo and in Belgrade, where a former deputy prime minister to a Milosevic-supporting government is now president, elected on a pro-European Union platform. The EU and U.S. will try to revive implementation of a Brussels agreement that provides for reintegration of Serb-majority northern Kosovo with the rest of the country, in exchange for more Serb autonomy. Ramush has the kind of authority required to reach such an agreement with the Serbs, but he will want in exchange needed Serb support for conversion of Kosovo’s lightly armed security forces into a small NATO-compatible army,” he wrote. Serwer says that having more than doubled its vote in percentage terms, Self-Determination is also a big winner and will be the new government’s main opposition.

“The big loser in this election is the political party derived from Kosovo’s peaceful protest movement of the 1990s, led then by Ibrahim Rugova. Coming in third, its fragile ad hoc coalition will have a difficult time influencing events in a political scenario dominated by the out-sized personalities of Ramush, Self-Determination leader Albin Kurti, and President Thaci, another former KLA leader,” Serwer wrote. 

Deutsche Welle’s op-ed: Nationalism wins in Kosovo elections (Lajmi)

Deutsche Welle’s Adelheid Feilcke wrote in an analysis on Kosovo’s early elections that it will be difficult to complete the already difficult dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade with Ramush Haradinaj as Prime Minister. The same applies to Vetevendosje’s Albin Kurti whom she described “a wolf hiding in sheep’s clothing”. The reality in Kosovo is like it or not, nationalists, radicals, the frustrated…with potential of organizing structures in Kosovo. Also, those who won the elections are coalitions that are not ready for compromise,” Feilcke wrote.

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