- Kosovo opts not to attend Prague summit amidst de-recognition threats (media)
- U.S. insists on lifting tariff on Serbian goods, calls for consensus on dialogue (Koha)
- Veseli calls on citizens to sign anti-corruption pact (media)
- Kurti: Bandits have no place in televised debates (media)
- No voting without valid documents issued by Kosovo authorities (Koha)
- Hoti: Government’s decisions after Haradinaj’s resignation, unlawful (Bota Sot)
- Ismaili: PDK is first with 5 – 7 percent more votes than second party (media)
- Diplomats resort to role of party militants (Koha)
- Thaci calls on Japanese businesses to invest in Kosovo (media)
Kosovo opts not to attend Prague summit amidst de-recognition threats (media)
Kosovo officials will not be attending Western Balkans summit in Prague which the media say is a sign of protest against the statement of the Czech President Milos Zeman that his country wishes to revoke recognition of Kosovo’s independence.
However, Kosovo Government spokesperson Donjeta Gashi told Radio Free Europe that Kosovo is preparing for snap elections which prevents the outgoing Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj attending the summit. “Haradinaj considers the Visegrad summit as a very important forum that contributes to democratic processes, cooperation and high European values and for this reason Kosovo will remain integral and active part of it,” Gashi said.
Jana Adamcova, spokesperson of the Czech Government confirmed that no Kosovo official will be traveling to attend the event and that only representatives of the Kosovo Embassy will be present.
At the same time, Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek said that he sees no reason why the country would revoke recognition of Kosovo’s independence. “We recognised Kosovo in 2008 and it is in the interest of our security and the transparency of our foreign policy not to change anything in this regard,” Petricek is quoted as having told a Czech paper.
Kosovo’s acting Foreign Minister Behgjet Pacolli also reacted to reports that the Czech Republic could de-recognise Kosovo saying they are part of Belgrade’s efforts to spread fake news. “The Czech Republic through its Minister of Foreign Affairs Tomas Petricek has confirmed strong support for Kosovo as an independent and sovereign country and its integration in EU, NATO, and international organisations. Our friendship and partnership are solid as a rock,” Pacolli wrote on social media.
U.S. insists on lifting tariff on Serbian goods, calls for consensus on dialogue (Koha)
The U.S. Ambassador to Belgrade, Kyle Scott, said on Wednesday that the issue of Kosovo is one of the biggest obstacles in relations between Washington and Belgrade, the paper reports on page three. Scott said the U.S. expect the new government that will be formed in Pristina to lift the import the tariff on Serbian products. “We hope that after the elections in Kosovo, we will go back to efforts to find a long-term solution that will contribute to peace in the region,” he said.
Kosovo’s outgoing Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj meanwhile has reiterated that the tariff will not be lifted until Serbia recognises Kosovo’s independence.
Former Vetevendosje MP Fitore Pacolli said this party is in favour of reciprocity with Serbia but did not elaborate in detail about the steps Vetevendosje would take on the tariff in the event they lead the new government.
Jeta Krasniqi from the Pristina-based Kosovo Democratic Institute said it will be up to the new Prime Minister to decide on the import tariff.
Veseli calls on citizens to sign anti-corruption pact (media)
Leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) Kadri Veseli called on the people of Kosovo to sign the Anti-Corruption pact he presented recently.
In a video clip, Veseli said that the refusal of other political parties to sign the pledge will not derail him from fighting corruption which he says is his main cause.
Kurti: Bandits have no place in televised debates (media)
Vetevendosje leader Albin Kurti has reacted to reports that the party’s candidate for MP, Haki Abazi, was assaulted by the candidate from the Social Democratic Party (PSD) Dardan Molliqaj following a televised debate last night.
Kurti said Abazi suffered injuries in the attack and that the police were notified. He also called on the Central Election Commission (CEC) to disqualify those who exercise violence.
“Bandits have no place in televised debates,” wrote Kurti adding: “The public does not deserve this low level of discussion. Kosovo does not deserve this low level of representation.”
Media report that following a debate on elections aired by T7 last night, Molliqaj and Abazi got into a physical altercation. Abazi said he was attacked by Molliqaj and a companion of his while Molliqaj said nothing happened outside the studio, “except a debate with little tension which was a continuation of the public debate.”
No voting without valid documents issued by Kosovo authorities (Koha)
KTV reported that when the citizens head to the polls on 6 October only those that have personal documents issued by Kosovo institutions will be eligible to cast their votes.
This, according to KTV, has been specified by an Administrative Instruction issued by the Central Election Commission (CEC) which obliges Municipal Election Commissions and Polling Councils to respect its provisions.
KTV further reports that based on the above document, non-majority communities and the Serb one in particular will not be able to vote anymore using Serbia-issued documents.
The move has been criticised by the Serb member of the CEC, Stevan Veselinovic, who walked out of the CEC meeting in sign of protest. He said the CEC decision was unlawful as it prevents Serbs to vote and elect their representatives.
Hoti: Government’s decisions after Haradinaj’s resignation, unlawful (Bota Sot)
Avdullah Hoti from the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) said that the decisions of the Kosovo Government following the resignation of Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj are unlawful and will be annulled.
“Appointments of management in public institutions (universities, public enterprises, agencies etc.) during this period when the government is only ‘caretaker’ pending the election of a new one, are unlawful and will be disregarded by the future government led by LDK. Any such decision, alike the one today with University of Freizaj will be annulled,” Hoti wrote on Facebook.
Ismaili: PDK is first with 5 – 7 percent more votes than second party (media)
Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) candidate for MP, Uran Ismaili, said in a debate on T7 on Wednesday that this party will win the early parliamentary elections. According to Ismaili, “the PDK will have over 5 percent more votes than the second political party”. He further argued that the Vetevendosje Movement (VV) will be disappointed by their performance in the elections and “will then ask for the resignation of Albin Kurti”.
Diplomats resort to role of party militants (Koha)
Citing unnamed sources, the paper reports on its front page that many of Kosovo’s diplomats have left behind their duties and have joined the activities of political parties for the upcoming October early parliamentary elections.
“Many missions, especially in the region and in some European countries, have turned into staffs of political parties that have had the biggest influence in the appointment of members of the Foreign Service. There are diplomats, who in opposition to the Constitution, have been included in lists for MP candidates,” a source in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the paper. “Formally, a memo has been sent to the diplomatic staff asking them not to engage in the activities of political parties”.
Thaci calls on Japanese businesses to invest in Kosovo (media)
President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, currently on an official visit to Japan, visited the ‘Toyota’ automotive manufacturer as well as the biggest business federation in Japan ‘Keidanren’ where he presented investment opportunities in Kosovo.
“Now is time for greater economic and trade exchange between the two countries,” Thaci said. He said that with a young, talented population, a law on strategic investments, good road infrastructure and geographical position, Kosovo would be an ideal place for Japanese investments.