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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, April 30

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• Covid-19: Nine new cases, 17 recoveries (media)
• Kurti and Risi discuss security situation, Covid-19 response (media)
• Svecla: Thaci travelled to Albania by disregarding state protocol (media)
• Thaci says he did not bring Pacolli, calls LVV a criminal organization (TV Dukagjini)
• Kurti responds to Thaci, invites him to a televised debate (media)
• Scenario to vote new government when court is on a day off (Koha)
• Mustafa responds to Thaci, says he will send the name of PM candidate soon (RTK)
• LDK reaches agreement for coalition with NISMA (Klan)
• Hoti: SL will have as much participation as in Kurti’s government (RTK)
• LVV says MP Etem Arifi’s vote cannot be counted on (media)
• Haradinaj: I don’t think Kurti plans to keep PM’s post by force (Telegrafi)
• Surroi: There will be no new government (Koha/Telegrafi)

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  • Covid-19: Nine new cases, 17 recoveries (media)
  • Kurti and Risi discuss security situation, Covid-19 response (media)
  • Svecla: Thaci travelled to Albania by disregarding state protocol (media)
  • Thaci says he did not bring Pacolli, calls LVV a criminal organization (TV Dukagjini)
  • Kurti responds to Thaci, invites him to a televised debate (media)
  • Scenario to vote new government when court is on a day off (Koha)
  • Mustafa responds to Thaci, says he will send the name of PM candidate soon (RTK)
  • LDK reaches agreement for coalition with NISMA (Klan)
  • Hoti: SL will have as much participation as in Kurti’s government (RTK)
  • LVV says MP Etem Arifi’s vote cannot be counted on (media)
  • Haradinaj: I don’t think Kurti plans to keep PM’s post by force (Telegrafi)
  • Surroi: There will be no new government (Koha/Telegrafi)

Kosovo Media Highlights

Covid-19: Nine new cases, 17 recoveries (media)

Acting Minister of Health Arben Vitia announced that there have been nine new cases of Covid-19 confirmed in Kosovo yesterday and 17 patients have recovered.

“For the third day in a row we are getting results of our joint efforts,” Vitia wrote on social media.

The National Institute for Public Health meanwhile announced that the new positive cases are from the municipality of Prizren (4), Malisheva (3), Suhareka (1) and Rahovec (1).

The total number of cases in Kosovo is 807.

Kurti and Risi discuss security situation, Covid-19 response (media)

Acting Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti met yesterday KFOR Commander, Major General Michele Risi and discussed the overall security situation in Kosovo and the response measures to fight Covid-19 pandemic. Acting Minister of Health Arben Vitia also attended the meeting.

“General Risi reaffirmed the impartial commitment of KFOR to contribute to the safety and security and freedom of movement of all communities in Kosovo, under the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 of 1999. He also confirmed that KFOR capabilities have not been undermined by Covid19, thanks to the preventive and stringent measures taken since the beginning in all bases and facilities. A limited number of soldiers have been infected. They are being treated in KFOR medical facilities or recovering in their home countries,” a statement issued by KFOR after the meeting states.

Svecla: Thaci travelled to Albania by disregarding state protocol (media)

Kosovo’s acting Minister of Internal Affairs, Xhelal Svecla, said at a news conference that President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci crossed the border between Kosovo and Albania on Tuesday at 6 p.m. and entered back to Kosovo an hour later without informing the state protocol which stipulates that any visit of the president, be it official or private, should be reported to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Svecla said Thaci failed to do this and raised suspicion that Thaci travelled to Albania to fetch the leader of the New Kosovo Alliance (AKR) Behgjet Pacolli who hours before had landed in Tirana in an effort to reach Kosovo without being subjected to quarantine measures.

“If the Kosovo MP [Pacolli] was in the president’s car, his behaviour shows that he consciously violated the quarantine rules. We request the president to reply why he decided to disregard the state protocol and we ask Pacolli to immediately report his whereabouts or else if he appears in public at a certain moment within the territory, the police will take legally defined measures,” Svecla said.

Thaci says he did not bring Pacolli, calls LVV a criminal organization (TV Dukagjini)

The President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci told TV Dukagjini that from the liberation of Kosovo, he enters from Albania to Kosovo through the same procedures.

“If Svecla and Kurti are interested about my location, I am at home. I call on them not to create confusion, slander and insanities and not to threaten people of politics and MPs, in this case, Mr. Pacolli.

About the Minister, his chief, and all their criminal organization, I am telling them my location is at my home.”

Asked if claims that Pacolli entered Kosovo with him, Thaci said that ‘this is an ordinary slander, threat and blackmail.’

Kurti responds to Thaci, invites him to a televised debate (media)

Acting Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti, invited President Hashim Thaci to face him in a political debate.

“The President of Kosovo Thaci, should end these border crossings outside protocol and in contradiction with the measures undertaken during the COVID-19 pandemic. He is a bad example that the citizens should not follow. As far as his swearing and insults on my address, by calling with a trembling voice like a child on TV studios, I have a solution: let us organize a TV debate among us two, so, me, the Prime Minister in duty and him, the President out of duty. If he wants to, he can take Behgjet Pacolli with him. In that case, yes, I will also take Xhelal Svecla and Rashit Qalaj,” Kurti wrote.

Scenario to vote new government when court is on a day off (Koha)

Koha reports that President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci and the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) are looking into the possibility of imposing a new political reality before the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) is able to address the Constitutional Court about the legality of president’s decision to pass on the mandate for forming a new government to a party other than the one that won elections.

A source told Koha that the scenario the new political partners are considering is to try to form the new government during days when the Constitutional Court is not working and that this could happen as early as this afternoon since the next day is an official holiday and the Constitutional Court will resume work on Monday.

Source suggested that Thaci could issue the decree for mandating Avdullah Hoti as candidate for prime minister on Thursday, after close of business.

Mustafa responds to Thaci, says he will send the name of PM candidate soon (RTK)

After receiving the second letter from the President of Kosovo, Isa Mustafa, leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), assured the President that they will soon send him the name of the PM candidate.

“The leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo, Mr. Isa Mustafa, received today the second letter from the President of the Republic of Kosovo, Mr. Hashim Thaci, with regards to the efforts to form the parliamentarian majority and create the new government,” LDK informed through a Facebook post.

“LDK leader, Dr. Isa Mustafa, responded to the letter, by informing him about LDK’s engagements and intensive meetings, to create the parliamentarian majority , and assured the President that it will reach the parliamentarian majority and propose the candidate for the Prime Minister of Kosovo in e very near future.”

LDK reaches agreement for coalition with NISMA (Klan)

After signing the agreement for coalition government with the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK), and the Serbian List, the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) reached on Wednesday agreement also with the Social-democratic Initiative (NISMA).

Klan Kosova has learned that NISMA will have a position of Deputy Prime Minister, Ministry of Trade and Ministry of Work and Social Welfare.

Hoti: SL will have as much participation as in Kurti’s  government (RTK)

The proposed candidate for the Prime Minister by LDK, Avdullah Hoti, informed about the reach of the agreement for coalition government with the Serbian List. Hoti said that as soon as the agreements are reached with the political parties, they will precede with the extraordinary session to vote this government.

“We based our agreements on the principals of LDK’s governing program that we presented earlier.  We also set criteria that our joint governing will ensure that law and order will be above everything. All those that will be engaged in the cabinet, should fulfill the required conditions in this direction,” he said.

Hoti did not respond on the question on whether the Serbian List will have a position of Deputy Prime Minister in the government that he intends to lead. He said Serbian List will have the same participation as in Kurti’s government.

“They will have as much participation as they had in the government that is already in duty,” Hoti said.

LVV says MP Etem Arifi’s vote cannot be counted on (media)

Erzen Vraniqi, advisor to acting Prime Minister Albin Kurti, said that one Kosovo MP has lost his mandate and that as a result, the Assembly has currently 119 MPs.

In a Facebook post, Vraniqi said that Etem Arifi has lost his MP seat as he is convicted with one year prison sentence for criminal activity. “He has lost his mandate based on article 70 of the Constitution of Kosovo. He has no right to vote,” Vraniqi said.

Arifi’s sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court. He is member of the Ashkali Party for Integration.

Kosovo Assembly Speaker Vjosa Osmani is expected to seek clarification on Arifi’s status from the court in Pristina. “In order for the Assembly to undertake concrete steps to replace the MP in question, it needs to receive notification from the Court and a copy of the verdict. Tomorrow, the Speaker will write to the court to seek official information,” Artan Murati, advisor to Osmani told Kallxo.

Haradinaj: I don’t think Kurti plans to keep PM’s post by force (Telegrafi)

Leader of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) Ramush Haradinaj said he didn’t think that the acting Prime Minister Albin Kurti will refuse to hand over the post in case a new government is voted in.

“Parliament of Kosovo that came out of 6 October, gave the trust to Kurti government. The same parliament, overthrew Kurti government with two-thirds. Kurti has institutional conscience and I don’t see any problem in implementation of an Assembly decision,” Haradinaj told News24 Albania.

He added that Kosovo has built a high institutional culture in the last years and claims that Kurti will try to keep his post through force are ill-intended.

Surroi: There will be no new government (Koha/Telegrafi)

Publicist Veton Surroi spoke to the Tirana-based ORA news outlet and said that current attempts to form a new government of Kosovo are unlawful and unconstitutional and will not result successful.

He said that if a new government is formed without waiting for the Constitutional Court’s say on the matter, Kosovo will have two governments “one built on a constitutional procedure and the other trying to get the majority of votes in the parliament and perhaps managing to do so, but built outside the constitutional process.”

He blamed President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci for the current situation. “The fact that the letter exchange remains secret means there is a need for it to be hidden and in democracy there is no need to keep things secret. A new government that tries to be created on secrets means it tries to be formed by hiding the truth. The objective is unconstitutional.”

Asked whether he thought a government between the LDK and AAK would be stable, Surroi said: “I don’t think it will be formed at all. There will be attempts but this smuggling is unconstitutional and has no legality and will also have no legitimacy from the people. It is a very bad adventure, dangerous and unnecessary mainly for those actors that are leading it.”

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