- Supreme Court upholds ECAP ruling (media)
- NISMA, AKR hail Supreme Court’s ruling (media)
- Peter Beyer elected CoE rapporteur for Kosovo (media)
- Trump’s envoy: There cannot be a mini-Schengen without Kosovo (RTK)
- Rama: Kosovo-Albania border cannot be removed without agreement with other countries (RFE)
- Italian Ambassador to Serbia: New Kosovo govt. to lift the tariff (RTK)
- Sherifi: Vetevendosje cannot establish government without NISMA (RTK)
- British ambassador hosts dinner with Kurti and Osmani (media)
- In Paris, Cakaj calls for Kosovo’s acceptance to UNESCO (Lajmi/Zeri)
Kosovo Media Highlights
Supreme Court upholds ECAP ruling (media)
Supreme Court of Kosovo has upheld the ruling of the Elections Complaints and Appeals Panel (ECAP) not to accept ballots from Serbia, thus enabling the NISMA-AKR-PD coalition to enter the Assembly of Kosovo.
Koha Ditore reports on the front page that the Supreme Court’s decision will affect how many seats the parties win in the new Assembly noting that of previously 32 that Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) had before the ECAP ruling, it will now have 29, while the second-largest party, the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), will lose one mandate and will now have 28 MPs. One MP seat will also be deducted to the AAK-PSD coalition.
As a result, LVV and LDK will have a total of 57 MPs which is not enough to form a new government. Candidate for prime minister Albin Kurti has said he will not count on the votes of the Serbian List which will have ten seats but the paper notes that with the votes of other non-majority communities, LVV and LDK will achieve the required majority.
NISMA, AKR hail Supreme Court’s ruling (media)
Leader of the Social Democratic Initiative (NISMA) Fatmir Limaj has reacted to the decision of the Supreme Court not to accept ballots from Serbia which enables the party to gain representation at the Assembly of Kosovo.
Limaj said the decision shows legal institutions are guardians of democracy in Kosovo. “This decision, just as that of ECAP, protected the integrity of elections undermined by unlawful actions,” Limaj said. “After the decision in the two instances, irresponsible people will never again be able to snatch and distort the will of the citizens,” he said.
Leader of the New Kosovo Alliance (AKR) Behgjet Pacolli also hailed the court’s ruling. “Justice prevailed. Ballots from Serbia that someone tried to smuggle as votes, were rejected,” he wrote on Facebook.
Peter Beyer elected CoE rapporteur for Kosovo (media)
German MP, Peter Beyer, has been elected Council of Europe rapporteur for Kosovo, defeating in the vote the Russian candidate, Alexei Kondratyev, whose candidacy Kosovo leaders and the civil society strongly opposed, media report.
Beyer’s election was hailed by Kosovo leaders and institutions. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that his appointment is a victory for Kosovo institutions, diplomacy and allies considering that his counter candidate came from Russia “a country that supports Serbia and openly works against the statehood of Kosovo and its membership in international organisations.”
Acting Prime Minister of Kosovo Ramush Haradinaj said he hoped Peyer’s appointment will be a successful renewal of European engagement in Kosovo while acting Deputy Prime Minister Enver Hoxhaj called Beyer’s election “fantastic news”. Leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) Isa Mustafa congratulated Beyer and recalled a recent visit he had in Kosovo where he reconfirmed support.
The German Ambassador to Kosovo Christian Heldt also welcomed Beyer’s election. “That is really excellent news! Congrats and very best wishes to Peter Beyer in this important function. He knows Kosovo and the region well,” he tweeted.
Trump’s envoy: There cannot be a mini-Schengen without Kosovo (RTK)
The U.S. Presidential Envoy for Kosovo-Serbia discussions Ambassador Richard Grenell said on Thursday that he welcomes the initiative for a ‘Balkan Schengen’ stressing that this initiative cannot be successful if the entire region, including Kosovo, is not included.
“We welcome the Western Balkans’ ‘mini-Schengen’ initiative as a way to jump start the free movement of people and commerce. We believe that for this initiative to be successful, it must include everyone in the region, including the Government of Kosovo. The Trump Administration is focused on helping the entire region create economic opportunities and jobs for young people,” reads a press release issued by the U.S. Embassy in Germany.
Rama: Kosovo-Albania border cannot be removed without agreement with other countries (RFE)
Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama said that candidate for prime minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, cannot aim to eliminate the border between Kosovo and Albania without an agreement with other countries.
“How can Albin Kurti remove the border if Serbia is not part of this process or does he want to start a war? Will the U.S., European Union, or even Cuba be those to give approval for removal of border without agreement with all the others. It would be insanity. Furthermore, we have seen that not only by removing it but only by saying it will be removed, we have switched on all red lights and raised the alarm everywhere,” Rama said for Tirana-based Top Channel.
Italian Ambassador to Serbia: New Kosovo govt. to lift the tariff (RTK)
Carlo Lo Cascio, Ambassador of Italy to Serbia, said it is important for Kosovo and Serbia to return to the table of discussions as soon as possible. “We expect that the new government in Pristina will start acting on the spirit of dialogue as soon as it takes over its duties, starting with lifting of the tariff. We are certain that Belgrade on the other hand, will be able to contribute in a constructive manner for the resumption of the dialogue,” he said.
Sherifi: Vetevendosje cannot establish government without NISMA (RTK)
Bilall Sherifi, from the Social-Democratic Initiative (NISMA) said Self-determination Movement cannot create the government without his political party. “We are calmly observing the counting process. Fatmir Limaj will then proceed with discussions for political participation. LDK-LVV coalition has not become formal yet. If LVV want a government with Albanian MPs, this cannot be done without NISMA. If they want to act differently, let them do it, we do not have any problem with that,” Sherifi said.
British ambassador hosts dinner with Kurti and Osmani (media)
The Ambassador of the Great Britain to Kosovo Nicholas Abbott hosted on Thursday a dinner for the leader of the Self-determination Movement (LVV) Albin Kurti and candidate for the Prime Minister of Kosovo from the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) Vjosa Osmani.
“Tonight, I hosted a dinner at my Residence for Richard Moore, Director General for Political Affairs at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in London, Albin Kurti and Vjosa Osmani,” Abbott wrote on his Facebook account.
In Paris, Cakaj calls for Kosovo’s acceptance to UNESCO (Lajmi/Zeri)
Albania’s Acting Foreign Minister Gent Cakaj had a meeting with UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay and also discussed Kosovo’s membership in the organisation.
Cakaj said that he underlined the importance of Kosovo being admitted to UNESCO. “Kosovo today is a regional example in protection of the rights of minorities and cultural heritage in general,” he said.