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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, April 28

By   /  28/04/2020  /  Comments Off on UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, April 28

• 35 recovered and 17 new cases with COVID-19 (media)
• EC President von der Leyen writes to acting PM Kurti (media)
• PM’s Office will address Venice Commission on Thaci’s letter (Lajmi)
• Kurti expresses concern over Thaci’s steps (media)
• Mustafa: Talks for new coalition are going well (Express)
• Haziri: You cannot impose ministerial names to LDK (Klan)
• LDK MP speaks about distribution of ministries (RTK)
• Thaci: Serbia committed genocide in Kosovo (media)
• Haxhiu says remarks on war crimes amnesty were misinterpreted (Telegrafi)
• OSCE condemns attack on journalist in Mitrovica North (Kallxo)
• PDK MP receives death threat (media)

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  • 35 recovered and 17 new cases with COVID-19 (media)
  • EC President von der Leyen writes to acting PM Kurti (media)
  • PM’s Office will address Venice Commission on Thaci’s letter (Lajmi)
  • Kurti expresses concern over Thaci’s steps (media)
  • Mustafa: Talks for new coalition are going well (Express)
  • Haziri: You cannot impose ministerial names to LDK (Klan)
  • LDK MP speaks about distribution of ministries (RTK)
  • Thaci: Serbia committed genocide in Kosovo (media)
  • Haxhiu says remarks on war crimes amnesty were misinterpreted (Telegrafi)
  • OSCE condemns attack on journalist in Mitrovica North (Kallxo)
  • PDK MP receives death threat (media)

Kosovo Media Highlights

35 recovered and 17 new cases with COVID-19 (media)

Acting Minister of Health Arben Vitia confirmed that 17 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on Monday, while 35 people recovered.

He called these results hopeful, however he requested from the citizens to continue to follow regulations of health institutions to prevent coronavirus.

“However, we lost a fellow citizen in the battle with COVID-19 today. My sincere condolences to the family. The danger has not passed yet. Therefore I plead on you no to distract at any moment and move together in this extraordinary battle for the health and life of each and everyone,” Vitia wrote on his Facebook account.

RTK reports that from 13 March, when the first cases of COVID-19 pandemic were reported in Kosovo, there have been 780 cases with this virus. 22 ended in fatality, while 201 recovered.

EC President von der Leyen writes to acting PM Kurti (media)

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has written a letter to Kosovo’s acting Prime Minister Albin Kurti saying the EU stands side by side with its neighbours and partners in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In this spirit, the EU has already mobilise EUR 68 million to Kosovo to address the immediate health crisis and mitigate the socio-economic impact of the pandemic,” von der Leyen said adding that the most recent proposal, Kosovo stands to benefit from up to EUR 100 million in way of concessional loans.

“I am fully aware that a much tougher financing situation has been one facet of the COVID-19 crisis in emerging economies such as Kosovo. EU Macro-Financial Assistance therefore addresses a pressing need, helping to safeguard Kosovo’s economic and financial stability and to create policy space to enable you to take appropriate crisis response measures,” EC President wrote.

PM’s Office will address Venice Commission on Thaci’s letter (Lajmi)

A spokesman for the Kosovo Government told the news website on Monday that the Office of Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti will address the Constitutional Court and also the Venice Commission if President Thaci decides to give another party the mandate to form a new government. 

“In addition to the Constitutional Court, the Office of the Prime Minister will address the Venice Commission in relation to the President’s report and role in the formation of the government. For the time being, we are considering the form and time when we will address this issue,” the spokesman said.

Kurti expresses concern over Thaci’s steps (media)

Kosovo’s caretaker Prime Minister, Albin Kurti, in a telephone conversation on Monday with Richard Moore, Director General for Political Affairs at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office expressed his concern over President Thaci’s steps following the no-confidence motion.

Kurti tweeted: “I stressed that the process must be transparent & in line with election results of 6 October & we must not forget we are a democracy where transfer of power is legitimate only if it is legal and constitutional. I thanked Mr. Moore for #UK’s invaluable contribution to #Kosova. Friendly discussion today with @UKPolDirRichard. We discussed the #COVID19 situation in both countries and the political situation in #Kosova. I expressed my concerns regarding the constitutionality of steps taken by the President following the motion of no-confidence.”

Mustafa: Talks for new coalition are going well (Express)

Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) leader Isa Mustafa told the news website on Monday that talks between LDK and other political parties for a new ruling coalition are going well and that they are being led by LDK’s candidate for Prime Minister, Avdullah Hoti. Mustafa said his party has yet to decide on the division of government ministries. “So far there is no decision on the division of ministries within the LDK. We will decide on this at the LDK presidency, based on the initial proposal for the candidate for Prime Minister,” he added. 

Mustafa said that New Kosovo Alliance (AKR) leader Behgjet Pacolli should be enabled to return from Switzerland to Kosovo and that they can work together toward a new coalition government. “Mr. Pacolli should be enabled to return to Kosovo as a member of parliament and a representative of the people. We believe we can work together with the AKR,” he said. 

The news website noted that Minister of Health Arben Vitia said on Monday that Pacolli would be placed under quarantine if he enters Kosovo’s territory.

Haziri: You cannot impose ministerial names to LDK (Klan)

Lutfi Haziri, deputy leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), spoke about the LDK-AAK-NISMA coalition for the formation of the new government.

“An agreement will be reached very soon. The talks are approximating. They are being built with confidence. Our goal is not to build it with conditions, because it will be the government of a political transition with a difficult agenda,” Haziri said.

According to Haziri, eventual names of the ministers appearing in the media are a speculation. “The aim of the LDK is to build a government with other political parties, without PDK. The names are good, I am not saying they are not, but there are better ones that can be in this government. You cannot impose yourself to LDK,” Haziri said.

“It is a speculation that four MPs will not vote the government, this does not stand. It is interesting because the opposition has its representative, the President, Assembly Speaker comes from a past government. The representation formula has not been discussed, that is why I said that those are speculations. We have voted Mr. Hoti to completely take over the duty.”

Haziri also said LDK sees AKR as a partner in the new executive. 

LDK MP speaks about distribution of ministries (RTK)

Driton Selmanaj, MP from the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) said in the discussion with coalition partners, his political party took seven ministries. 

“The formula is more or less the one that appeared in the media: seven ministries to LDK, four to AAK, two to NISMA and  the rest to the non-majority communities in Kosovo. The names are not final, we are discussing them,” Selmanaj said. He added that votes of the New Kosovo Alliance (AKR) are not determinant, however he did not exclude an agreement with this political party as well. “We asses that AKR can also contribute in this coalition because it is part of NISMA’s parliamentary group. I think that it is good for them as well to be part of this coalition,” he said.

Selmanaj rejected claims that four LDK MPs oppose this coalition, saying that the number of those against is smaller and that LDK MPs are responsible. “The issue of the numbers is not being treated in LDK however the idea is to have 67 votes.

Selmanaj added that they do not have any contacts with the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) nor with the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK). 

Thaci: Serbia committed genocide in Kosovo (media)

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci said on Monday that “Serbia has committed genocide in Kosovo. It has killed over 10,000 Albanian civilians, 1,300 of the children”, most news websites report. 

“Today we marked the International Day of the Disappeared, a day of pain, suffering and sorrow for the people and the state of Kosovo. Serbia has committed genocide in Kosovo. It killed over 10,000 Albanian civilians, 1,300 of them were children, and the unresolved fate of missing persons. The Serbian army and police carried out over 400 massacres against the Albanian civilian population. They raped over 20,000 Albanian women and expelled around 1 million Albanians from their homes,” Thaci said. 

“The genocide committed by the state of Serbia has gone unpunished by local and international justice so far. The international silence is a kind of amnesty toward Serbia’s genocide, but under no circumstance or time will there be amnesty for crimes and genocide carried out by the Serbian state in Kosovo. There can be no peace without justice and together with internationals we will continue to seek justice, for the genocide and the crimes to be punished by local and international judicial bodies”. 

Haxhiu says remarks on war crimes amnesty were misinterpreted (Telegrafi)

Publicist and former director of Klan Kosova, Baton Haxhiu, has commented on his recent statement about amnesty for war crimes in Kosovo saying that it was intentionally taken out of context.

Haxhiu said that when he spoke about an amnesty at a televised debate, he was not given the opportunity to elaborate what exactly he meant by it. He added that amnesty for war crimes is not even allowed by international law.

“I apologise to all who misunderstood the amnesty, including my family members who lost their lives, and who thought amnesty meant amnesty for war crimes,” Haxhiu said.

Haxhiu’s statement came under strong criticism yesterday from political officials and the civil society after he was accused of stating that war crimes committed in Kosovo should be pardoned to Serbia.

OSCE condemns attack on journalist in Mitrovica North (Kallxo)

The Head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, Ambassador Jan Braathu, and the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Desir, have condemned an attack on a journalist of TV Puls in Mitrovica North.

“A key element of a democratic society is the ability of journalists to report freely on developments of interest to the public. It is particularly concerning when journalists are physically attacked,” said Braathu while Desir underlined that violence against members of the media is unacceptable and should not be tolerated.

Desir said that the motives behind this attack need to be investigated and that this is his third intervention on incidents of violence against journalists in Mitrovica North in the past several weeks.

PDK MP receives death threat (media)

Several news websites report that a death threat on social media was made against Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) MP Eliza Hoxha on the day the Assembly voted in favor of the no-confidence motion against the Kurti-led government.

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