- Thaçi dismisses Nikolic, suspected as BIA member (KTV)
- Kosovo’s ruling party dismisses all members facing indictments (GazetaExpress)
- Mayors of northern municipalities take solemn oath (KTV)
- “Kroi i Vitakut” citizens call for halting of illegal constructions in north (KTV)
- Wanted businessmen Veselinovic and Radoicic celebrate with Brnabic at Informer tabloid (KTV)
- Assembly fails to adopt any agenda item (KTV)
- Western Balkans still threat to United States (GazetaExpress)
Thaçi dismisses Nikolic, suspected as BIA member
Office of the President has confirmed that Hashim Thaçi’s political advisor, Branislav Nikolic, has been released from his duty.
“Office of the President of the Republic of Kosovo confirms that it had no prior and official information from security institutions in Kosovo about Branislav Nikolic’s possible involvement in suspicious activities, which were reported on the media,” the press release reads.
Despite this, at the President’s Office say that they takes media reports seriously about possible involvement of Nikolic in suspicious activities, be they of a criminal nature or those that infringe national security.
“Based on the principle of respect for the law and to give space to security authorities to conduct independent investigations on this case, the President of the Republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi, based on his constitutional and legal powers, has released today Branislav Nikolic from the political advisor’s duty,” the press release reads.
Thaçi remains committed to advancing the rights of non-Albanian communities and their representation at all levels of central and local government, based on the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo. The concrete case is merely a matter of rule of law and order, the release ends.
Kosovo’s ruling party dismisses all members facing indictments
Chairman of the ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), Kadri Veseli, pledged to dismiss all members of his party facing indictments who hold positions in Government or within structures of the party.
The list of PDK officials facing indictments is long. Four out of 11 indicted officials of the so called “Pronto” case are members of the Steering Committee of the PDK.
They are all indicted of allegedly handing out state jobs to people based on their political affiliation. Among those indicted of corruption are Veseli’s advisor Njazi Kryeziu, minister of Innovation Besim Beqaj, MP Zenun Pajaziti and former MP Adem Grabovci.
Appearing before media on Wednesday, Veseli, who is also Speaker of Parliament, said that all PDK officials facing indictments will be dismissed as of today.
He added that the PDK will not run in elections with people who are either indicted or suspected of misuse of official position, corruption, and nepotism. He also dismissed all members holding senior positions within the PDK.
Mayors of northern municipalities take solemn oath
The elected mayors in the four municipalities of Kosovo north, Mitrovica/Mitrovicë North, Leposavic/Leposaviq, Zubin Potok and Zvecane/Zveçan, in the solemn meetings of Municipal Assemblies on Wednesday, took solemn oaths and formally took over their official positions.
Goran Rakic, mayor of Mitrovica/Mitrovicë North and Srpska Lista chairman started his mandate considering this position as a major obligation, KTV portal quoted Indeksonline as reporting.
“This is a major obligation, not only for me, but for all of you who are in the Assembly, to be even better in the work we do and to make progress in the lives of our fellow citizens, above all, to live calmly and help them in every aspect,” said Rakic after taking the solemn oath.
“Kroi i Vitakut” citizens call for halting of illegal constructions in north
Through a petition, 115 citizens of the “Kroi i Vitakut” neighbourhood in Mitrovicë/Mitrovica North expressed their concerns and dissatisfaction with the construction of collective buildings destined for the Serb community.
The petition was sent to Mitrovicë/Mitrovica Mayor, Agim Bahtiri, who, through a letter addressed to the President, Government and Assembly has requested taking of necessary actions based on their powers for halting these illegal constructions.
“Mayor Bahtiri emphasizes that such initiatives are discriminatory against the Albanian population in that part of the city, taking into account the fact that over 15,000 Albanians have been displaced from the northern part of Mitrovica/Mitrovicë, where most of them have not yet been able to return to their property. Regarding this concern of ‘Kroi i Vitakut’ citizens, we as local government support the concern raised by these inhabitants by addressing the relevant central level bodies for halting these constructions,” the announcement of Mitrovicë/Mitrovica municipality states.
In his letter addressed to the heads of state, Bahtiri said that “the apartments are destined for deployment of members of the Serb community, mainly settlers from other areas.”
Wanted businessmen Veselinovic and Radoicic celebrate with Brnabic at Informer tabloid
The controversial businessmen from northern Kosovo, Zvonko Veselinovic and his godfather Milan Radoicic, who are suspected for Oliver Ivanovic’s murder, recently were hosted on celebration of the anniversary of Informer tabloid. The celebration was also attended by Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic.
Some photos shared on social networks show Veselinovic and Radoicic in a good mood smiling, sitting at head of the tables amongst the guests.
Specialty on front pages of Informer tabloid is ethnic hate against Albanians; for many years, it has celebrated its anniversary with great pomposity.
For many years, Veselinovic and Radoicic have been related with various criminal offences. Veselinovic is mentioned also in the Serbian Police files as car thief, and in 2003 he was arrested for smuggling heroin.
For the first time the public heard about Veselinovic when he organised the action of erecting barricades at the crossing with Kosovo. A BIA (Serbian Security Intelligence Agency) report says that Veselinovic collaborated closely also with Ismet Osmani, known as Curri, who has recently been arrested. On the other hand, his godfather Radoicic used to obtain drug from Osmani and transported it to Serbia.
About Radoicic, the public heard for the first time, after the murder of the Kosovo north politician Oliver Ivanovic, as the deceased had stated in an interview that Radoicic was the informal centre of power in the north.
Radoicic’s power was stamped when he was appointed vice chairman of Srpska Lista.
When Kosovo Police carried out the action for arresting suspects of Ivanovic’s murder, Radoicic happened not to be in Kosovo. Only one day before, he had met with the Serbian President Vucic, who claimed that Radoicic was not in Serbia but in Kosovo.
Besides Vucic, the Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj also is in good terms with Radoicic.
Assembly fails to adopt any agenda item
The Government coalition again failed to get sufficient votes for passing legislation initiatives in the Assembly.
Due to the lack of quorum, a lot of agenda topics, some of them since last year, have failed to get 61 votes.
This happened at the Wednesday’s session, too.
MPs failed to pass the draft resolution from the parliamentary debate about engagement of the Kosovo President for territory exchange or border correction in the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue.
Only 28 MPs voted in favour.
Draft Resolution on failure of the Government coalition in the visa liberalisation process was not passed either.
Seeing this situation, the LDK caucus leader Avdullah Hoti asked for the session to be stopped.
While Draft Law on Corporation Income Tax was being discussed, PDK MP Bekim Haxhiu proposed an amendment about sponsorship in culture and sport, so that it can be aligned with the Law on Sponsorship.
However, after two attempts, the amendment was not supported by MPs, as only 55 MPs voted.
Kosovo Democratic Institute (KDI), which monitors performance of the Assembly, believes that the ruling parties are improvising the Assembly sessions.
Amongst 35 topics of discussion, MPs also failed to pass Draft Resolution on the failure and scandals in the foreign policy.
Western Balkans still threat to United States
US President Donald Trump extended a warning from 2001 about the Western Balkans as a threat to his state and notified the Congress that it had not changed, news agency reported.
President George W. Bush first sent the message of the National Emergency with Respect to the Western Balkans on June 26, 18 years ago, which was renewed in 2003 due to problems in the then Macedonia. The latest White House’s statement signed by Trump said that “extremist violence and obstructions stated in the executive order from 2001 as hostile to the American interests still present an unusual and big threat to the US national security and foreign policy.”
“The threat constituted by the actions of persons engaged in, or assisting, sponsoring, or supporting (i) extremist violence in the former Republic of Macedonia (what is now the Republic of North Macedonia) and elsewhere in the Western Balkans region, or (ii) acts obstructing implementation of the Dayton Accords in Bosnia or United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 of June 10, 1999, in Kosovo, has not been resolved,” the statement said. “For this reason, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency with respect to the Western Balkans,” Trump said.