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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, December 27

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• New Kosovo Assembly constituted, Konjufca elected Assembly speaker (media)
• Sources: Thaci to give Kurti mandate today to form new government (Express)
• Kurti: Konjufca’s election was not a surprise (media)
• LVV: LDK seeking to get more than it is entitled to (media)
• U.S., UK, congratulate constitution of Kosovo Assembly (media)
• President Thaci hails constitution of Assembly (media)
• Mustafa: LVV acted in a biased manner (KTV)
• Veseli: LVV-LDK coalition is ‘give or take’ (media)
• Haradinaj: Kosovo to be more vigilant to movement of Russian nationals (Zeri)

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  • New Kosovo Assembly constituted, Konjufca elected Assembly speaker (media)
  • Sources: Thaci to give Kurti mandate today to form new government (Express)
  • Kurti: Konjufca’s election was not a surprise (media)
  • LVV: LDK seeking to get more than it is entitled to (media)
  • U.S., UK, congratulate constitution of Kosovo Assembly (media)
  • President Thaci hails constitution of Assembly (media)
  • Mustafa: LVV acted in a biased manner (KTV)
  • Veseli: LVV-LDK coalition is ‘give or take’ (media)
  • Haradinaj: Kosovo to be more vigilant to movement of Russian nationals (Zeri)

New Kosovo Assembly constituted, Konjufca elected Assembly speaker (media)

All media report that Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) deputy leader Glauk Konjufca was elected head of the Kosovo Assembly during yesterday’s constitutive session. Konjufca received 75 votes in favour, 27 against and six abstentions.

In addition to Konjufca, the Assembly MPs also elected deputy speakers: Arberie Nagavci from LVV, Kujtim Shala from the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), Memli Krasniqi from the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), Slavko Simic from the Serbian List (SL) and Fikrim Damka from the Kosovo Turkish Democratic Party (KDTP).

“Thank you for establishing the seventh legislature of the Assembly, thank you for entrusting us this important task. We guarantee that as presidency of the Kosovo Assembly, we will carry out our duties as required with honour in line with Kosovo laws and constitution,” Konjufca said upon election.

He proceeded to conclude Assembly’s constitutive session. “See you at the next session on which timing you will be informed as soon as it is scheduled,” Konjufca said.

Under the leading front-page headline VV takes the Assembly, LDK waits for a new offer, Koha Ditore reports that even though LDK MPs voted in favor of Konjufca’s nomination for Assembly Speaker, they said that all agreements reached with the Vetevendosje Movement so far are off. “Despite the divisions, the LVV did not say that the coalition agreement has failed, and the LDK is waiting for a new offer,” the paper notes.’

According to Zeri, Konjufca’s election was “the most unpredictable scenario” at the constitutive session of the new Assembly and that the developments on Thursday could take Kosovo to new general elections.

Epoka e Re reports on its front page that Konjufca’s election as Assembly President “has paved the way to the formation of the new government. Meanwhile, the LDK, which is seen as the only partner of the Vetevendosje Movement to form the government, has given no signs on its course of action”.

Bota Sot reports on its front page that “Kosovo is now at a crossroads” and that “the Assembly has been formed without an agreement for a new government”.

Sources: Thaci to give Kurti today mandate to form new government (Express)

Citing unnamed sources, the news website reports that Kosovo President Hashim Thaci will give today to Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) leader and candidate for Prime Minister Albin Kurti, the mandate to form a new government. According to the same sources, President Thaci will invite Kurti today at 11:00 to give him the mandate.

Kurti: Konjufca’s election was not a surprise (media)

Leader of the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) Albin Kurti spoke to the media following the end of the Assembly’s constitutive session. He said that democratic civilisation was demonstrated in the session.

“The Assembly is the temple of democracy and legislature. I am therefore convinced that with this step we have demonstrated a kind of democratic civilisation because, unlike the sixth legislature, we did not block the constitution of institutions,” Kurti said adding that he believed all obstacles to forming a new government will be overcome through the will to put the general interest above any other.

Kurti also spoke about Glauk Konjufca’s election as Assembly speaker. “I don’t know but I don’t think it was a surprise,” he said.

LVV: LDK seeking to get more than it is entitled to (media)

Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) has issued a statement following the constitutive session of the Assembly which saw election of Glauk Konjufca Assembly Speaker and five deputy speakers. LVV said the Assembly was constituted in record time, without delays or games.

“Despite our wish and efforts, we entered the session without a coalition. We have sought a fair agreement and proportional division of responsibilities but the other side is insisting on getting more than it is entitled to, or nothing. Both these options are disappointing. Much easier and faster agreements that damaged Kosovo were reached in the past, but it seems it is very difficult for them to reach a coalition with the only uncorrupt entity that has the will and plan to fight poverty and corruption,” the statement reads.

“The situation is changing, as the time and constitutional deadlines are passing, but the Vetevendosje Movement will continuously seek cooperation for the good of Kosovo,” LVV said and went on to congratulate all MPs on the beginning of their mandates: “May this legislature produce change because citizens have voted for crucial change, they have no time to lose or patience to wait.”

U.S., UK, congratulate constitution of Kosovo Assembly (media)

The embassies of the United States and the United Kingdom have congratulated the constitution of the Kosovo Assembly and the election of speaker and deputy speakers. The embassies also called for the formation of the government.

“The U.S. Embassy welcomes the constitution of the Kosovo Assembly and congratulates Speaker Glauk Konjufca, other members of the Assembly Presidency and all Members.  We encourage political leaders to form a new government immediately that is committed to fulfill the mandate of the voters.  We look forward to working with the new government on pressing issues related to peace, justice, and prosperity,” the U.S. Embassy said.

The UK joined the congratulations: “We welcome the inauguration of the new Assembly of Kosovo, and we congratulate the new Speaker Glauk Konjufca and the new Deputy Speakers on their appointment. Almost three months since the parliamentary election, the formation of a new government is long overdue. Now the Assembly is constituted, the voters of Kosovo deserve to receive the government they voted for on 6 October as quickly as possible.”

President Thaci hails constitution of Assembly (media)

President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci congratulated MPs of the seventh legislature on assuming their mandates. “The Republic of Kosovo has many challenges ahead that require a high level of responsibility to be overcome, therefore all elected representatives should leave aside political interests and work on the swift creation of institutions of the Republic of Kosovo,” Thaci wrote on Facebook.

Mustafa: LVV acted in a biased manner (KTV)

Isa Mustafa, leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) told KTV that Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) acted in a biased manner during the Kosovo Assembly’s constitutive session by nominating Glauk Konjufca as Assembly Speaker.  He added that this was not discussed as part of the potential agreement for governing coalition between the two political parties.

“We have made major progress. For a period of time we discussed the governing program which we managed to harmonise, we discussed criteria for division of ministries, and we did this with Vetevendosje as well, in complete accordance with those criteria. We had to decide about the Assembly Speaker and Deputies, as well as outvoting, let me put it this way: the issue of the president when the time comes.”

“We used to think that we were too close, but when we would sit with LVV, we would see that there were setbacks. What happened today was also a biased act, and not in line with our agreement. There was no agreement on the Assembly Speaker, but we assessed that if Vetevendosje comes up with a proposal for Assembly Speaker, as based on the Constitution LVV as winner of the election is the entity with the right for the proposal, we would vote for.”

“We have decided today at the leadership meeting that if the proposal by LVV as the winning party happens, we would vote the proposal for election of the Assembly Speaker in order not to leave any space to delay the constitution of the Assembly. We had no information, no prior notice, and no MP that I had contact with had any information,” Mustafa said.

Asked about possibility of reach of the agreement for governing coalition Mustafa said “I think that it failed because they acted on their own, in a biased manner and these are issues for which we should not induce further expectations, except for what happened today at the Assembly.”

“As the second party, we have 28 MPs, and we want our responsibility in the government to be in accordance with votes. We should get as much as we are entitled to. Our offer has been even less than we are entitled to. Governance should be made with joint responsibilities,” Mustafa said.

Nothing is absolute, he said adding that even LDK’s going in opposition is a possibility.

Veseli: LVV-LDK coalition is ‘give or take’ (media)

Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) leader Kadri Veseli said on Thursday he was not surprised with Glauk Konjufca’s nomination as Assembly Speaker. “I was not surprised due to the fact that we have had an election process and after the certification of the election result, we reached a point when Assembly Speaker had to be elected and we hope that institutions will form as soon as possible,” Veseli said adding that election was a legal process and constitutionally right. However, the way things are going now is not very positive or correct.”

“This coalition has been promoted for more than two years, and now, three months after the elections, there is nothing. This is more than deceit, it is treason. This is the start of disappointment of citizens, for the fact that it appears now that there is no agreement, it appears that they are at point zero – that everything that they trumpeted was for electoral benefit.”

He said LVV and LDK did not discuss issues and principals but rather dealt with the division of posts. “Their coalition is give or take. I am giving you a ministry more, president, KIA director or police director.”

He added that these two political parties are not ready to lead with Kosovo and face challenges that await it adding that LVV chose the tactical road of avoiding responsibility and gaining in time.

Haradinaj: Kosovo to be more vigilant to movement of Russian nationals (Zeri)

Kosovo’s outgoing Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj attended a ceremony at Kosovo Police headquarters on Thursday where awards were given to outstanding officers, the paper reports on page three. Haradinaj said in his address that Kosovo has faced terror threats in the past and that “now it should also remain vigilant and protect itself from the Russian influence”.

“Lately we have seen that there is increased movement of Russian nationals and that is why Kosovo must remain vigilant and protect itself. Every police officer should feel responsible for this,” Haradinaj said.

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