- Haradinaj: I will exercise functions of prime minister until new elections (media)
- Haradinaj to run for PM post again under one condition (Express)
- Kosnett: Friendship with Kosovo doesn’t depend on a party or politician (media)
- Heldt: Important for Kosovo to have functional government (media)
- UK following closely political developments in Kosovo (media)
- Kurti: Vetevendosje and LDK to form new government (Kallxo)
- Parties begin election calculations (Zeri)
- Only strong international pressure can avoid early elections (Koha)
- On 9th anniversary of ICJ ruling, opposition accuses President of land deals (Koha)
- Swiss Embassy reacts to Haradinaj’s resignation (Klan)
- EULEX ready to continue cooperation with Kosovo institutions (Klan)
Haradinaj: I will exercise functions of prime minister until new elections (media)
Prime Minister of Kosovo Ramush Haradinaj has written a letter to leaders of political parties, including President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci, notifying them of his resignation.
“In line with the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo and applicable legislation, I have called for necessary steps to be taken to announce general national elections so that the right to elect is returned to the citizens. Until the election of the new Government, I will continue to perform constitutional tasks as Prime Minister of an outgoing Government,” he said.
At the same time, media are also reporting that Haradinaj confirmed he was set to travel to The Hague today and that his interview with Specialist Chambers will take place Wednesday.
Haradinaj to run for PM post again under one condition (Express)
The outgoing Prime Minister of Kosovo Ramush Haradinaj spoke on T7 broadcaster about the possibility of his running for the post of the Prime Minister after returning from the Hague. He said that if there is no indictment from the Special Chambers, he will seek his right to take over the mandate.
“If there are no raised charges, if I go only for an interview and I come back, I will approach the population, so I will not keep hostage myself or Kosovo. If I do not have an indictment, I request the right to take over the duty, because I returned this duty to the population, someday I will request it again. I am not seeking double standards. And if at some time I am accused again, there is no other way for me but to respond, I do not resign out of my free will, so I do not believe that there is going to be another indictment. I act believing that it will not be because I completed to judicial processes,” Haradinaj said.
“It is not that I avoid my duties, but I did not want to send Kosovo in front of the investigators, I will send Ramush. I will not send the Prime Minister or Kosovo,” he said.
Kosnett: Friendship with Kosovo doesn’t depend on a party or politician (media)
The United States Ambassador to Kosovo, Philip Kosnett, said in Pristina yesterday that the friendship between the U.S. and Kosovo does not depend on a political party or a political leader.
“Our governments might not always agree on policies and while the partnership between the United States of America and Kosovo grows, it will take a lot of work to keep our positions along the same lines. At the same time, we have seen that the stable friendship between the people of the U.S. and the people of Kosovo does not depend on a political party or an individual leader,” Kosnett said.
Heldt: Important for Kosovo to have functional government (media)
The German Ambassador to Kosovo, Christian Heldt, told Radio Free Europe that it was important for Kosovo to soon have a functional government. Heldt said Germany respects “independence of Specialist Chambers and the decision of Prime Minister Haradinaj.”
“Kosovo continues to face important political challenges, especially with regards to the political dialogue with Serbia and internal political reforms. It is important for Kosovo to soon have a functional Government,” Heldt said.
UK following closely political developments in Kosovo (media)
The United Kingdom Embassy in Kosovo said it was closely following political developments in light of Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj’s resignation last Friday.
The Embassy said it was aware of Haradinaj’s invitation by the Specialist Chambers but refrained from commenting on it saying this was a matter for the Specialist Prosecutor to deal with. As for the prospect of early elections, embassy’s spokesperson Samuel Paice said this is something that should be decided by Kosovo institutions. “The Constitution of Kosovo clarified the process that needs to be followed in the case of prime minister’s decision and in announcing early elections. In line with these, this is an issue that should be decided by institution of Kosovo,” Paice told Radio Free Europe.
Kurti: Vetevendosje and LDK to form new government (Kallxo)
Vetevendosje leader Albin Kurti said in an interview with Kallxo that the new government of Kosovo should be formed by his party in coalition with the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK). “Change cannot be made any other way,” he said.
“We do not negotiate posts. Change in Kosovo will come when it is realised that the programme and work plan is more important than posts. It is the voter suport and citizen trust that should lead a politician to a post. In contrast, Kosovo has had plenty of prime ministers with agreements and without votes, we had such a one, but you can see what damage this caused for the people and the budget, for democracy and governance. That prime minister has no power to make a change, his whole power rests with deepening the corruption,” Kurti said seemingly referring to Ramush Haradinaj.
Asked about the prospects of entering a coalition with the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK), Kurti said: “Polls do not suggest there is a need for such a move. We once believed we could cooperate with them for the country but they chose to cooperate with the PDK for power. Let them deal with the consequences of their misgovernance, full of failures and corruption.”
Asked to choose between President Thaci’s border changes initiative and the Association/Community of Serb-majority municipalities with executive competencies, Kurti said that none of the options are on the table. “These options are problematic, and they are dead thanks to mass popular protests led by Vetevendosje, thanks to the systematic opposition cooperation between the LDK and VV, thanks to the people that did not want to follow autocratic leaders that fabricated provocations to cause incidents between Albanians and Serbs. The Association, the negotiating team and the presidential dialogue were all declared anti-constitutional,” Kurti said.
Parties begin election calculations (Zeri)
Political parties have started making calculations about possible coalitions ahead of anticipated new elections, the paper reports on the front page.
Leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) Kadri Veseli said they are ready to head to elections and that his party will win them. “PDK enters elections with a clear goal, to win the process and give the country a government with full citizen legitimacy and a clear vision for the Euro-Atlantic future,” he said. PDK officials, adds the paper, have maintained they have no red lines to any party.
At the same time, head of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) parliamentary group, Ahmet Isufi, said the party is interested on running on its own but did not entirely rule out the possibility of coalitions. “We have said before that we don’t have red lines towards parties but this will depend on the communication,” he said.
Social Democratic Initiative (NISMA) officials have also expressed interest to run on their own in next elections while the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) MP Driton Selmanaj said the party is still undergoing internal consultations. Vetevendosje has not yet decided whether to run alone or as part of a pre-election coalition but its MP Ismail Kurteshi said the party is interested in a possible post-election coalition with “an entity that was not part of this government.” As for the Social Democratic Party (PSD), MP Shqipe Pantina said they have not yet decided how to run but noted that they do have red lines towards the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK).
Only strong international pressure can avoid early elections (Koha)
The paper reports on its front page that Ramush Haradinaj made his resignation official on Monday by informing the leaders of institutions, partners of the ruling coalition and leaders of political parties represented in the Assembly. But although political parties have mobilised their election staff, political commentators in Pristina do not rule out the formation of a broad-based government if there is strong international pressure. “For the sake of talks with Serbia, there can be international pressure to form a broad-based government which would remain in power for one year. In addition to the agreement, which the Americans are insisting on, the parties would also work on finalising the election reform. But this is not very likely given internal divisions, including those in the ruling coalition,” Ramush Tahiri, political analyst, told the paper.
On 9th anniversary of ICJ ruling, opposition accuses President of land deals (Koha)
Representatives of opposition parties in Kosovo said on Monday, on the ninth anniversary of the International Court of Justice’s ruling on Kosovo’s declaration of independence, that President Hashim Thaci is threatening territorial integrity with his idea for land swap with Serbia. LDK MP Vjosa Osmani said in opposition to the will of the people, President Thaci put Kosovo’s statehood on the table of talks and thus made irreparable damage to the consolidation of statehood. Vetevendosje MP Albulena Haxhiu said ruling leaders failed to use the ICJ ruling to strengthen Kosovo’s statehood and integrity.
Swiss Embassy reacts to Haradinaj’s resignation (Klan)
The Swiss Embassy in Pristina came out with a statement after the resignation of the Prime Minister of Kosovo Ramush Haradinaj. “The Embassy of Switzerland takes note of the resignation of Ramush Haradinaj from the function of Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo. We call upon all institutional representatives to act in line with the constitution and applicable laws. We are confident that the state institutions continue to function and will effectively address the needs of the people,” was written in Embassy’s Facebook page.
EULEX ready to continue cooperation with Kosovo institutions (Klan)
Kosovo’s Minister of Interior Ekrem Mustafa, hosted a meeting with the Acting chief of the EULEX mission in Kosovo, Bernd Thran. They discussed about increasing cooperation amongst the two institutions, freedom of movement in Kosovo, and strengthening the rule of law. They also discussed joint projects, and EULEX acting head Bernd Thran expressed EULEX’s readiness for continuance of cooperation and coordination with Kosovo institutions. The Ministry of Internal Affairs is expected to receive an equipment donation from EULEX in the following days.