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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, December 18

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• Assembly prepares for constitutive session, VV-LDK no agreement yet (media)
• Hoti: If we don’t get post of President, we will go in opposition (Indeksonline)
• Arben Gashi: Negotiations for a coalition take time (RTK)
• Bahtiri: LVV- LDK coalition will be reached, never with PDK (Telegrafi)
• Nagavci: LVV structures did not discuss post of President (Kallxo)
• Rakic: Serbian List will not impede creation of institutions (RTK)
• Land swap idea damaged Kosovo’s position in dialogue, poll shows (media)
• Rama invites Thaci to summit on Balkans Mini-Schengen (media)
• Pacolli submits war crime files to the prosecution (RTK)
• NISMA leader Limaj’s advisor wounded in Pristina (media)

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  • Assembly prepares for constitutive session, VV-LDK no agreement yet (media)
  • Hoti: If we don’t get post of President, we will go in opposition (Indeksonline)
  • Arben Gashi: Negotiations for a coalition take time (RTK)
  • Bahtiri: LVV- LDK coalition will be reached, never with PDK (Telegrafi)
  • Nagavci: LVV structures did not discuss post of President (Kallxo)
  • Rakic: Serbian List will not impede creation of institutions (RTK)
  • Land swap idea damaged Kosovo’s position in dialogue, poll shows (media)
  • Rama invites Thaci to summit on Balkans Mini-Schengen (media)
  • Pacolli submits war crime files to the prosecution (RTK)
  • NISMA leader Limaj’s advisor wounded in Pristina (media)

Assembly prepares for constitutive session, VV-LDK no agreement yet (media)

Koha Ditore reports in one of its front-page stories that while the current presidency of the Kosovo Assembly will meet today to initiate preparations for the constitutive session of the seventh legislative, there is yet no coalition agreement between the Vetevendosje Movement and the Democratic League of Kosovo.

Representatives of both parties have said they are optimistic that an agreement will be reached before December 26, when the constitutive session will be held, although they have not moved from the positions that are blocking a final agreement.

Zeri too reports on its front page that the Vetevendosje Movement and the Democratic League of Kosovo have agreed on the division of ministries, but they have yet to resolve differences over the post of Kosovo President. “Although the constitutive session of the new Assembly has been set for December 26, the two parties have yet to schedule a meeting to further discuss the coalition agreement,” the paper notes.

The paper also reports that the LDK will get the Ministry of Interior Affairs, the Ministry of Infrastructure, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Defense, whereas Vetevendosje would get the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry for Economic Development. Vetevendosje representatives reportedly confirmed this to the paper.

Bota Sot reports on its front page that “a coalition between the Vetevendosje Movement and the LDK is the only formula that guarantees governance, otherwise the country needs to go to new elections”. The paper also argues that delays in the formation of the ruling coalition could have irreparable consequences for Kosovo.

Hoti: If we don’t get post of President, we will go in opposition (Indeksonline)

Avdullah Hoti, member of the Presidency of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), said in an interview with T7 on Tuesday that if the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) does not agree for the LDK to have the post of Kosovo President then there will be no agreement between the two parties.

“If we don’t get the post of President, we will go in the opposition,” Hoti is quoted as saying. “We are the oldest party in Kosovo, and we have extensive experience in building the institutions. We are a state-forming party and we have a proven record of appointing the best possible people to the highest positions. This is not a condition. It is a fair approach by the oldest political party in Kosovo which is agreeing that the post of Prime Minister belongs to the Vetevendosje Movement”.

Arben Gashi: Negotiations for a coalition take time (RTK)

Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) MP Arben Gashi said on Tuesday that negotiations between the LDK and the Vetvendosje Movement (LVV) to reach a coalition agreement are a process that takes time, and according to him, this serves as a good example of discussions.

“The second built principle is that governing will be integral and united, in order to avoid impressions that LDK ministers are on one side and those of LVV on the other, as a bipolar functioning of the government. The idea is to have a united governance, based on program and to deliver results,” he said.

Asked to comment on LVV senior member Glauk Konjufca’s remarks that LVV has already made three compromises, Gashi said it was a pre-election agreement for the winning political party to keep the post of the Prime Minister and that the other posts have to be divided in a proportional manner. “It was requested to create a balance, because the issue was to guarantee a stable government as we predicted the dangers. The biggest danger is to have clashes within the coalition a year later, as a result of a disagreement that could happen about the post of the President, which is vacant,” Gashi said.

Bahtiri: LVV- LDK coalition will be reached, never with PDK (Telegrafi)

Mitrovica Mayor and Vetevendosje Movement member, Agim Bahtiri, said in an interview with T7 on Tuesday that the ruling coalition between Vetevendosje and the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) will happen “because there is no other option and because the people have asked for this”. “The country will very soon have an LDK – VV government … Kosovo will not go to new elections, because there are no other options. Even if we go to new elections a hundred times, we will not form a coalition with the PDK [Democratic Party of Kosovo],” Bahtiri said.

Asked to comment on Kosovo’s outgoing Prime Minister and AAK leader Ramush Haradinaj’s remarks that he can have coffee with VV leader Albin Kurti but not enter a joint government, Bahtiri said: “no one has invited Ramush to talk about a coalition government. We have only one option and that is the LDK”.

Nagavci: LVV structures did not discuss post of President (Kallxo)

Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) MP Arberie Nagavci said this party’s structures did not discuss yet specific names that could carry responsibilities in the new legislation. According to her the post of the President of Kosovo was not discussed either. “No name was discussed so far in our structures, neither for the executive posts and even less for the post of the President,” Nagavci wrote on her Facebook account on Tuesday.

Rakic: Serbian List will not impede creation of institutions (RTK)

Goran Rakic, leader of the Serbian List, said on Tuesday that his political party is always in favor of dialogue and that it will never be an obstacle to the formation of new institutions. He told Kosova Online that only talks contribute to peace and progress of society of all communities in Kosovo.

Rakic also said that the Serbian List seeks maximal respect in order to end “the discrimination of Serbs and treat Serb representatives elected by law as equal partners.”

Land swap idea damaged Kosovo’s position in dialogue, poll shows (media)

Most news outlets cover a poll conducted by the Pristina Institute for Political Studies (PIPS), in which 39 percent of respondents said that the land swap idea has damaged Kosovo’s position in the dialogue with Serbia. Around 69 percent of respondents said Kosovo’s position in the dialogue with Serbia must be mutual recognition in the current borders.

The author of the poll told a press conference in Pristina on Tuesday that “among the Serb respondents the preferred option is the formation of the Association/Community of Serb-majority municipalities in exchange for recognition, whereas among the Albanian respondents the preferred option is mutual recognition in the current borders”.

Around 64 percent of respondents said the formation of the Association/Community would threaten Kosovo’s statehood, with 74 percent saying that the Serb municipalities could call for secession from Kosovo and around 25 percent saying that the state of Kosovo would not function effectively if the Association/Community is formed. Asked if the Kosovo government should lift the tariff on Serbian goods, around 45 percent of respondents said “no”, while 44 percent said the tariff should be lifted.

Rama invites Thaci to summit on Balkans Mini-Schengen (media)

Several media report that Kosovo’s outgoing Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj told reporters in Pristina on Tuesday that Kosovo has received no invitation to attend the summit on the Balkans Mini-Schengen, which will be held in Tirana on December 20 – 21. Haradinaj said that even if Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama sends an invitation, he is determined not to attend the meeting. The Press Office of the Albanian Prime Minister issued a media statement on Tuesday saying “following a statement made by Kosovo’s resigning Prime Minister, we want to explain that given the format of regional meetings, and because the new government in Kosovo has not been formed yet, Kosovo has been invited at the highest level same as in the Ohrid Summit, through an invitation sent to the President of the Republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci”.

Pacolli submits war crime files to the prosecution (RTK)

Jetlir Zyberaj, advisor to Acting Foreign Minister of Kosovo Behgjet Pacolli, said they submitted to the Prosecution of Kosovo on Tuesday the files on Serbia’s war crimes against Kosovo Albanians.  “These files represent facts and prove that Serbia had an orchestrated genocidal state policy against Kosovo, which was implemented in the field by Yugoslav army, MUP, paramilitary groups controlled by Belgrade and other local armed groups of Serbs who committed ethnic cleansing and massive murders,” Zyberi said.

NISMA leader Limaj’s advisor wounded in Pristina (media)

Most news outlets report that Luan Maloku, an advisor to NISMA leader Fatmir Limaj, was wounded on Tuesday in Pristina after a family dispute. Maloku was hospitalised and is not in a life-threatening condition. According to some sources, the suspects are his brothers-in-law. Media also report that Endrit Shala, Kosovo’s outgoing Minister of Trade and Industry and a senior member of NISMA, assaulted a reporter of Pristina-based Indeksonline news website who was reporting on Maloku’s condition from the University Clinical Center of Kosovo in Pristina. The Association of Journalists of Kosovo (AJK) condemned “the assault and any other physical and verbal attack by politicians and heads of institutions” and called on the police, prosecution and the judiciary to address such cases with priority. Shala later told Insajderi news website that the claims about the assault “are a lie”.

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