- Diaspora votes secure Vetevendosje another MP seat (Zeri)
- NISMA insists it has crossed election threshold (media)
- Palmer: Not realistic to expect Serbia will soon recognise Kosovo (media)
- Haxhiu: Kurti, first PM that will demand war reparation from Serbia (Bota Sot)
- Thousands gather in Pristina in march for Astrit Dehari (media)
- Osmani meets Hahn, Wieland and McAllister (Epoka)
- Haradinaj: Lifting the tariff would be a capital political mistake (Koha)
- Kosovo prepares to admit another 100 citizens from Syria (media)
Diaspora votes secure Vetevendosje another MP seat (Zeri)
The paper reports that the Central Election Commission has counted last night the 1,806 packages from Diaspora after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Vetevendosje’s request. Of 2,039 ballots inside the packages, Vetevendosje got 1,154 votes, followed by the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) with 395. The Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) won 276, the AAK-PSD coalition 79 while the NISMA-AKR-PD coalition received 26 votes.
CEC spokesperson Valmir Elezi said now that the Diaspora ballots have been counted, the final results could be announced today, if no complaints are made to the Elections Complaints and Appeals Panel (ECAP).
The paper also reports that based on the current calculations, Vetevendosje is expected to gain another MP seat at the Kosovo Assembly with a total of 32.
NISMA insists it has crossed election threshold (media)
Social Democratic Initiative (NISMA) that ran in recent elections together with the New Kosovo Alliance (AKR) and the Justice Party (PD) issued a press statement after all ballots were counted.
NISMA said the final results indicate it has managed to cross the 5-percent election threshold and enter the Assembly. “After the counting of 2,039 Diaspora votes that arrived late (17 October 2019), the Social Democratic Initiative and our coalition won over 42,000 votes or 5.02 percent, making our coalition part of the Republic of Kosovo Assembly,” the party said.
Palmer: Not realistic to expect Serbia will soon recognise Kosovo (media)
Several media outlets carry excerpts from an interview the U.S. Special Representative for Western Balkans Matthew Palmer gave to RTV Vojvodina where he said that the mutual recognition between Kosovo and Serbia will be a very difficult issue to discuss and that it would not be realistic to expect Serbia to soon recognise Kosovo and certainly not in exchange for lifting the import tax.
“Mutual recognition will be a very difficult issue to be discussed. The only place where this can be achieved is not the media, papers or televisions but the negotiations table,” Palmer said.
He said there is room for renewal of talks and called on Kosovo to lift the tax and on Serbia to stop derecognition campaign. Palmer is also quoted to have ruled out greater involvement of the U.S. and the idea of partition or exchange of territories. He expressed the U.S. position that mutual recognition would be the ideal solution to normalizing relations but also did not rule out the possibility of an agreement that “would not entirely be mutual recognition but something that would be much better than what the parties have currently.”
“There are some things on which the parties can agree easier at present and this would help in calming the situation. But this is not up to me, it is up to the parties to decide,” Palmer is quoted. “The U.S. is interested in normalisation of relations and will not impose any parametre for reaching of the agreement,” he said adding however that this does not mean to say the U.S. would accept any agreement. “If the two parties want our support, support in implementation and political support then, yes, we would want to see a good agreement being reached.”
Haxhiu: Kurti, first PM that will demand war reparation from Serbia (Bota Sot)
Albulena Haxhiu from Vetevendosje said in an interview with the paper that Albin Kurti will be the first Kosovo prime minister to demand war reparations from Serbia and that under a Kurti-led government the approach to dialogue with Serbia will change.
“On dialogue with Serbia, we need to have full consensus in the country and the Assembly and the Republic of Kosovo should put forth demands for Serbia including reparations. Prime Minister Kurti will be the first prime minister that will demand justice and compensation from Serbia for the damages inflicted in the last war in Kosovo,” Haxhiu said.
She said that the election result does not require dependency on the Serbian List for forming new Kosovo institutions and “nowhere in the Constitution are we obliged to have it be part of the government.” “We cannot overlook Serbs that recognise Kosovo and work for development and go to the Serbian List,” she said.
Thousands gather in Pristina in march for Astrit Dehari (media)
All dailies report that thousands of demonstrators gathered in downtown Pristina on Tuesday to commemorate the third anniversary of the death of Vetevendosje activist Astrit Dehari and call for justice.
Demonstrators in the “a people for justice” march called for the dismissal and investigation of all responsible persons, including state officials, members of government, police, prosecution, the prisons department and the forensics department.
Another demand by the demonstrators was to establish a parliamentary investigation committee, immediately after the formation of the new Assembly, that would shed light on the political and institutional responsibility of public officials in the Dehari case.
Vetevendosje leader Albin Kurti said at the march that they were shocked by Dehari’s death while in detention in Prizren.
“We were shocked that day when they arrested Astrit on 29 August 2016. We were all shocked when he was kept in jail and shocked when told we would not see him again,” Kurti said.
“The autopsy report of forensics in Pristina said the cause of death was blockage of the airways. The report from Switzerland ruled out suicide. Astrit was killed by the regime because they could not interrogate him,” Kurti said.
Kurti also called for a new, independent investigation into Astrit Dehari’s death. “He is a symbol of our unrelenting battle for justice and we are sure to win this battle.”
Osmani meets Hahn, Wieland and McAllister (Epoka)
Vjosa Osmani, candidate of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) for Prime Minister, met in Brussels on Tuesday with the European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn. The discussed the challenges that await Kosovo and required reforms that would accelerate Kosovo’s European integration. “With the invitation of the Commissioner Johannes Hahn, we met today in Brussels to discuss challenges ahead for Kosovo and required reforms for acceleration of the European integration of our country,” Osmani wrote on her Facebook account.
Later on, she also met with the Vice President of the European Parliament, Mr. Rainer Wieland as well as the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the EP, Mr. David McCallister.
“Today in Brussels, I had the pleasure to meet with the Vice President of the European Parliament, Mr. Rainer Wieland as well as the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the EP, Mr. David McAllister, where we discussed the results of the elections in Kosovo, the discussions regarding the formation of the new Government and the priorities that the new institutions are expected to have.”
Haradinaj: Lifting the tariff would be a capital political mistake (Koha/Gazeta Express)
Kosovo’s outgoing Prime Minister, Ramush Haradinaj, said on Tuesday that the 100 percent import tariff on Serbian goods was “one of the topics that consolidated Kosovo”, Koha Ditore reports on page three.
Commenting on the idea of Vetevendosje Movement and the Democratic League of Kosovo to replace the tariff with full reciprocity with Serbia, Haradinaj said: “I like the idea of reciprocity but for other aspects. The tariff should not be lifted. I am surprised by some who are saying it should be lifted. Whoever follows that path will damage themselves and Kosovo too. It would be a capital mistake to lift the tariff without getting recognition [from Serbia] first”.
Gazeta Express notes that Haradinaj also commented on the recent visit to Kosovo by U.S. Special Envoy for Western Balkans Matthew Palmer and the appointment of Richard Grenell as Presidential Envoy for the Kosovo – Serbia talks. “I thank Mr. Palmer for his visit and continuous communication, I met him also earlier in the U.S. This is a continuation of the American agenda. He also carries responsibility to the Department of State, while as you know Ambassador Grenell has direct responsibility towards U.S. President Donald Trump, so it is a continuance, it is a mutual agenda, therefore I did not post anything. It is a continuance of the communication, if you followed all developments, it is a Kosovo-America dynamic,” Haradinaj said.
Asked about eventual arrests by the Specialist Chambers, Haradinaj said the question should be addressed to those who voted in favor of the court. “They know the procedures better,” he said.
Kosovo prepares to admit another 100 citizens from Syria (media)
Kosovo’s Interior Minister Ekrem Mustafa told Radio Free Europe that authorities are making preparations for the return of another 100 Kosovo citizens currently in Syria. Mustafa said he could not provide more details but added that they are in talks with Turkish authorities to enable the citizens’ return.