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OSCE Broadcast 7 November

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• Assembly expected to adopt a new resolution on talks with Serbia (Most monitored broadcasters, KTV)
• Ombudsperson expects compensation of citizens for payment of electricity spent in north (Klan Kosova, KTV)
• Haradinaj requests professional report on Demarcation (Most monitored broadcasters, TV21)
• Civil society condemns public lynching of Veton Surroi (KTV)
• Tahiri denies suspending decision on Bar Commission (Most monitored broadcasters, KTV)
• Minister of Trade wants Kosovo represented as a state in CEFTA (RTK1)
• Most incidents in Kosovo of political character (Most monitored broadcasters, RTK1)

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Assembly expected to adopt a new resolution on talks with Serbia

(Most monitored broadcasters, KTV) 

Two years have passed since the last reporting was done at the Kosovo Assembly on Kosovo-Serbia dialogue process or the agreements achieved there. 

The resolution adopted at the beginning of this year is still in force, through which the process of dialogue with Serbia was suspended, while the adoption of a new resolution in the Assembly was requested.

To raise the level of dialogue oversight by the Assembly, the Committee on Foreign Affairs chaired by Vjosa Osmani, in cooperation with Kosovo Democratic Institute, gathered chairpersons of all the Assembly committees.

There it was stated that the whole process so far has been non-transparent, while they also expressed their concern over the fact that the President is deciding who will continue the dialogue.

Chairwoman of Legislative Commission, Albulena Haxhiu, speaking of the Justice Agreement, said that the President of Basic Court in the north, Nikola Kabasic, is a relative of Oliver Ivanovic and he is suspected of having been involved in massacres.

A day earlier, documents were published stating that Serb judges and prosecutors had not sworn the same way as other judges and prosecutors and that they had signed the statement, where Republic of Kosovo or the Constitution was not mentioned anywhere.

Ombudsperson expects compensation of citizens for payment of electricity spent in north

(Klan Kosova, KTV) 

Kosovars in general have paid for electricity which was spent by Serb citizens in the northern part of Kosovo.

But they continue to do so despite the decision of Court of Appeals for the Energy Regulatory Office (ERO) to quit this practice. 

ERO said it is not executing the court’s decision due to absence of the Board.

But the Ombudsperson, who had initiated the case in court, is qualifying this action of ERO as unfair and unreasonable.

Ombudsperson says that ERO, by not executing such a decision, is committing a criminal offense by violating human rights.

MP Donika Kadaj-Bujupi, who raised the issue of payment of electricity for the north many times in the Assembly, qualifies ERO’s non-reaction as an attempt to delay the Court of Appeal’s decision.

According to her, non-completion of the Board does not hinder implementation of Court’s decision, while she adds that establishment of a new Board should be a priority for the legislative agenda.

Meanwhile, a group of lawyers have planned to take an initiative to file lawsuits against those who forced citizens to pay for electricity that somebody else spent.

Nevertheless, the Ombudsperson Hilmi Jashari once again warns that the next step would need to be compensation of citizens, which could also be achieved through a judicial process.

The Institution, which is led by Jashari, is also investigating the situation with water bills for the northern part.

Since the end of the war, water, energy and other utility bills were not paid by residents of four municipalities in the north. 

Haradinaj requests professional report on Demarcation

(Most monitored broadcasters, TV21)

Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj met members of the Governmental Commission for Delineation of the Border with Montenegro led by Shpejtim Bulliqi.

Commission briefed the Prime Minister for their work on collecting and processing of data from different sources in the field and the working meetings held in Croatia and Slovenia with the aim of getting and verifying factographic data.

PM Haradinaj stressed that the final report should contain a high professional level based on original, valid and verifiable facts.

In the meantime, Montenegrin Foreign Minister Srdjan Darmanovic commented the border issue with Kosovo on Tuesday, too.

He told Montenegro TV that old borders within Yugoslavia, which were never doubted and which were confirmed by two international commissions as well as Montenegrin and Kosovar officials, were in question.

Darmanovic stated that Montenegro has ratified Demarcation as an international agreement which is supported by both parties and it will not return to this topic again. 

Civil society condemns public lynching of Veton Surroi

(KTV)

A status in Facebook of the publicist Veton Surroi for the construction of national stadium sparked a series of insults and threats against him. 

“…. and Theater and Opera in Skenderaj” was the ironic status of Surroi regarding the discussions about changing the location of national stadium from Bërnica to Korrotica in Drenica, KTV reported. 

Former journalist Arbana Xharra, now part of PDK, called Surroi a primitive and a racist.

That was enough for the offensive of attacks against Surroi, who was threatened and called a traitor, mostly by PDK militants, to start.

For civil society, lynching that was made to Surroi is an act that needs to be punished.

According to Arianit Koci, such reactions are unacceptable in a civilized society. While Besa Luzha said ‘we need to have debates and arguments without having to incite hatred.’

For journalists who have faced threats themselves, such cases are orchestrated and may end up with violence.

Parim Olluri from ‘Insajderi’ online newspaper says that these cases and people involved in them should be investigated by justice authorities.

KTV, for two days in a row, tried to take a stance from the Democratic Party of Kosovo, but its officials did not responded to Kohavision’s interest.

Kohavision also tried to speak with Arbana Xharra, now adviser to Kadri Veseli, who earlier also complained about public lynching against her, but she did not respond. 

Tahiri denies suspending decision on Bar Commission

(Most monitored broadcasters, KTV)

A day before the Kosovo Assembly Mandate Committee discusses the proposal of Minister of Justice for the Chief State Prosecutor Aleksandër Lumezi to head the Bar Examination Commission, Abelard Tahiri himself suspended it. 

In a statement for Kohavision, Minister of Justice Abelard Tahiri said that since the investigations have not yet ended and his proposal has entered the agenda of Mandate Committee, he suspended his decision. 

Although Minister Tahiri promised an interview for KTV, he cancelled it later due to the busy agenda. He also denied what he had previously said that he suspended the decision of the Bar Commission, to the head of which he had elected Chief Prosecutor Lumezi.

Chairwoman of the Legislation and Mandate Committee, Albulena Haxhiu, said that the request was made in such a manner so that the burden of all this falls on the Assembly. Moreover, she says the request is procedurally not correct, as the Government should do this, and not her secretariat.

Minister, on the other hand, did not tell how long the suspension or retraction of his decision will last, but he announced that he has a time limit before making a decision to change Lumezi’s name, or not.

Minister of Trade wants Kosovo represented as a state in CEFTA

(RTK1)

Reporting to the Kosovo Assembly’s Economic Development Committee, Minister of Trade and Industry Bajram Hasani said that support to business and enterprises on their development is the priority of ministry he runs.

As far as CEFTA is concerned, he said that Kosovo must be represented as a state in this organisation and not in the name of UNMIK.

Furthermore, Minister Hasani even said that Kosovo will consider withdrawing from CEFTA.

“Ministers of Trade of the CEFTA members will meet on 23 November in Belgrade. I have openly asked for UNMIK to give up representing Kosovo in this Agreement and I asked the European Union Office in Kosovo to exert pressure in order for Kosovo be represented as a country,” Hasani said. 

Most incidents in Kosovo of political character

(Most monitored broadcasters, RTK1)

A problem that Kosovo has been facing over the recent years is the departure of Kosovars to the wars in Syria and Iraq. Out of 314 Kosovars who went there starting from 2012, about 120 of them returned. A large part of them was killed, some were arrested upon their return, and others were arrested and convicted.

But since 2008, when the country declared its independence until June this year, the largest recorded incidents have a political and non-religious character.

This results in a report published by the Kosovar Centre for Security Studies – KCSS.

Religious harmony is noted as one of Kosovo’s strong values. From 2008 until now, out of 73 recorded threats in the KCSS database, only 36% had a religious character. Out of these 73 incidents, 62% had a political character.

Diplomats, such as the Dutch Ambassador, speaking of violent extremism, say that there is low risk of terrorism in Kosovo, but she requires constant engagement to combat this phenomenon.

Field experts say that terrorist incidents mainly occur by young people who have not lived and acted in Kosovo, or by minors.

In the meantime, based on the Kosovo Security Barometer for 2016, 75 percent of Kosovars perceive warriors returned from foreign wars as a threat, while more than 50 percent would not accept them within their communities.

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