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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, April 22

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• Kosovo: Six new cases of COVID-19 reported yesterday (media)
• Kurti: Kosovo faces three crises – health, economic, political (media)
• Waiting for President Thaci’s decision (Radio Free Europe)
• LDK to depend on PDK and Serbian List votes (Kallxo)
• Veseli says PDK will neither join LVV nor LDK in forming new govt (media)
• Muhaxheri: Mustafa sent letter to potential partners (media)
• Mustafa writes to Haradinaj about the new government (RTK)
• PDK names conditions for forming new government (Koha/Kallxo)
• Krasniqi: We will not vote Mustafa for Prime Minister (RTK)
• Kusari-Lila: New govt will depend on votes of Serbian List and PDK (Klan K.)
• “Mustafa isolated Osmani, she is now just an individual with votes in LDK” (media)
• Journalist association condemns publication of victims’ personal details (Telegrafi)

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  • Kosovo: Six new cases of COVID-19 reported yesterday (media)
  • Kurti: Kosovo faces three crises – health, economic, political (media)
  • Waiting for President Thaci’s decision (Radio Free Europe)
  • LDK to depend on PDK and Serbian List votes (Kallxo)
  • Veseli says PDK will neither join LVV nor LDK in forming new govt (media)
  • Muhaxheri: Mustafa sent letter to potential partners (media)
  • Mustafa writes to Haradinaj about the new government (RTK)
  • PDK names conditions for forming new government (Koha/Kallxo)
  • Krasniqi: We will not vote Mustafa for Prime Minister (RTK)
  • Kusari-Lila: New govt will depend on votes of Serbian List and PDK (Klan K.)
  • “Mustafa isolated Osmani, she is now just an individual with votes in LDK” (media)
  • Journalist association condemns publication of victims’ personal details (Telegrafi)

Kosovo Media Highlights

Kosovo: Six new cases of COVID-19 reported yesterday (media)

Kosovo’s National Institute for Public Health announced yesterday that six new coronavirus cases have been confirmed of a total of 191 samples tested.

At the same time, the Institute announced that five persons were declared recovered during the day and that there have been three deaths, including of a pregnant woman.

The Institute said that so far 5,200 tests have been carried out and that 6,514 contacts are under observation.

Kurti: Kosovo faces three crises – health, economic, political (media)

Acting Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, and the acting Minister of Finances and Transfers, Besnik Bislimi, took part at a virtual debate yesterday hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce.

Speaking about the implications the economy will face due to the coronavirus pandemic, Kurti said that alike the rest of the world countries, Kosovo has also reduced its economic activity. “To minimise losses and not worsen the economic situation, the Government has already taken the first step by approving the Fiscal Emergency Package,” Kurti said adding that the second step will be that of economy’s revival through a similar stimulus package.

Kurti said however that Kosovo not only faces a health and economic crisis but also a political one. “Health crisis was unforeseen. The economic crisis seems to be inevitable. The political one meanwhile was unnecessary and unreasonable, but since it was planned it became inevitable.”

Waiting for President Thaci’s decision (Radio Free Europe)

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci could take a step today as part of efforts to find a solution for the formation of a new government, the news website reports. RFE recalls that since March 25, when the Kosovo Assembly adopted the no-confidence motion against the government, Thaci has called on the Vetevendosje Movement, as winner of the 2019 October parliamentary elections, and on other parties, to find a solution for the formation of a new government.

RFE has learned that in the last couple of days, Thaci has looked into several legal possibilities, among which dominate three options: to address the Constitutional Court and then decide based on its ruling, to give a final deadline to VV leader Albin Kurti and his party to propose a candidate for Prime Minister or to ask directly the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), as the second biggest party, to propose a candidate for PM. The first option is considered in compliance with the legislation and the Constitution, whereas the two other options would most probably be challenged by the Vetevendosje Movement at the Constitutional Court.

If Thaci addresses the Constitutional Court, he will among other things ask if the lack of a proposal from Vetevendosje can be considered an exhaustion of the constitutional deadline and as a proof that the winning party of the elections is not able to form a government, before Thaci would proceed with the second option.

LDK to depend on PDK and Serbian List votes (Kallxo)

The news website reports that the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), the second party in last general elections, has already agreed on a coalition with the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) and the coalition between the Social Democratic Initiative (NISMA) and the New Kosovo Alliance (AKR) but notes at the same time that if mandate for forming the new government is passed on to LDK, it will also require votes from other political entities or MPs to win a majority at the Assembly.

Kallxo notes that with AAK, NISMA and AKR, LDK would have a total of 47 votes. At the same time, the number of non-Serb MPs at the Assembly is currently 9 since one MP has joined the Vetevendosje parliamentary group. This would leave LDK with 56 votes which is not enough to form a new government.

At the same time, there may also be LDK MPs that would not support such a deal. Vjosa Osmani for instance, reports Kallxo, has voted at the LDK general council against the proposal for a coalition with AAK and NISMA-AKR, as has MP Ardian Shala. Furthermore, leader of the AKR and MP Behgjet Pacolli is not in Kosovo and it is uncertain if he can take part at the session.

In the past, LDK officials have emphasised on numerous occasions that they would not enter a coalition with the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) or the Serbian List.

Veseli says PDK will neither join LVV nor LDK in forming new govt (media)

Leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, Kadri Veseli, is quoted as saying that his party will not join either the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) or the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) to form the new government.

Veseli told the Reporteri news website that although the PDK has no red lines against any Albanian political party, it has major differences with LVV and LDK.

He also let know that both parties sent people to PDK to speak about a possible coalition deal. “There is no need to deceive the opinion about isolation and sending people to me to form a joint government. I will not enter a government with any of them.”

Muhaxheri: Mustafa sent letter to potential partners (media)

Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) deputy leader Gazmend Muhaxheri said on Tuesday evening that the LDK is negotiating with possible partners the formation of a new government.

“The new government would face major challenges and it needs the best people that would address these situations. There is no timeline [for government formation], first we need the votes. [LDK leader] Mustafa has sent letters to possible partners for the criteria of forming the new government,” he said.

“The answers that we will get will also help us clarify the issue of the Prime Minister candidate. Mustafa has the support of the [LDK] General Council to negotiate and form a new government. It will be a government faced with major challenges. We need to see who is ready to address problems such as the dialogue, the visa liberalization and the major economic challenge.”

Mustafa writes to Haradinaj about the new government (RTK)

Isa Mustafa, leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), told the leader of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) Ramush Haradinaj that his party is ready to accept the mandate to form the new government.

He wrote that the main challenge of the new government created between LDK, AAK, Social-Democratic Initiative (NISMA) and Alliance for New Kosovo (AKR) will be war against COVID-19.

He added that other important issues remain conclusion of the dialogue Serbia and strengthening partnership with the U.S.

PDK names conditions for forming new government (Koha/Kallxo)

Enver Hoxhaj from the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) said they would not agree to enter a coalition government at this time.

“Our position is this: We will be in a future government only when PDK wins elections, when it emerges as the first party. Second condition is the PDK leading the government,” Hoxhaj told KTV.

He said that at the present circumstances, the creation of a new government is “politically inevitable” but reiterated that PDK would not be in this arrangement.

Hoxhaj also said there is no negotiated agreement between Kosovo and Serbia on land swap. “It is a lie. There is no negotiated agreement, there are no maps on the table,” he said.

Krasniqi: We will not vote Mustafa for Prime Minister (RTK)

Memli Krasniqi, deputy leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) told Euronews Albania that his political party would not vote Isa Mustafa for the Prime Minister of Kosovo.

“We would not vote Isa Mustafa just as we would not vote any political part that creates the government. We would not vote any government that is not led by the PDK. We expected that Mr. Kurti would move in accordance with the Constitution and will try to create the new majority. After this, e new tentative comes, but we will again remain in opposition,” Krasniqi said.

Speaking about the meeting called by Acting PM Albin Kurti, where Krasniqi was the only one to respond, while the other political parties boycotted it, he said no proposal or request was made and added that the meeting was only a propaganda.

“The problem stands first of all with Mr. Kurti, as as a Prime Minister, he was repulsive with regard to cooperation with opposition but also within the coalition, which he destroyed with his actions. We as opposition have played our role also with concrete proposals. PDK’s position was clear since the result of the elections and we will be an opposition party. We have a government which has a role of a guardianship and does not have legitimacy to act with full capacities, as it does not have the right to propose laws to the Assembly,” Krasniqi said.

Kusari-Lila: New govt will depend on votes of Serbian List and PDK (Klan K.)

Alternativa leader and Vetevendosje MP Mimoza Kusari-Lila argued in an interview to Klan Kosova on Tuesday that President Hashim Thaci was openly in favor of cutting off the mandate of the Kurti-led government and supported the formation of a new government. She said a new eventual government consisting of the LDK, AAK, NISMA and other parties, would be a minority government.

“In addition to the President, we have another political circumstance – another government that will depend on the votes of the Serbian List and the Democratic Party of Kosovo and this bears the potential of instability in the country,” she said. “The first step that a new government will be asked to make is to lift the reciprocity measures, which were one of the points of the agreement between the Vetevendosje Movement and the LDK.”

Kusari-Lila also argued that there was a prior plan in place behind the LDK’s no-confidence against the Kurti-led government. “There was no commitment to continue the work of the government. There were challenges in governance. An element that no one disputed were the reforms and the war against corruption. The Kurti government had no intention of becoming millionaires,” she said.

“Mustafa isolated Osmani, she is now just an individual with votes in LDK” (media)

Political commentator Blerim Latifi argued on Tuesday that the new Prime Minister candidate will be Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) leader Isa Mustafa “or a person controlled by him”, several news websites report.

According to Latifi, Mustafa has managed to isolate LDK deputy leader and Assembly President Vjosa Osmani. “She is now just an individual without votes in the LDK,” he said.

“Isa Mustafa will be the candidate for Prime Minister. The candidate must be someone that controls the votes in his party. Isa Mustafa will not make as Prime Minister someone that could get out of his control as happened with Vjosa Osmani. The new Prime Minister will mainly deal with the management of the agreement with Serbia.”

Journalist association condemns publication of victims’ personal details (Telegrafi)

The Association of Kosovo Journalists issued a statement condemning the publication of personal details of two victims – of a young woman that died as a result of a fall from a building and of a pregnant woman that died from COVID-19 related complications.

AGK said it was concerned with some online portals publishing the pictures and the names of the victims saying it was in violation to the code of ethics and also a human rights violation.

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