- One new case of coronavirus in last 24 hours (media)
- President Hashim Thaci’s interview to Klan Kosova
- Abazi: Prosecution to interview Thaci regarding his statements (Klan Kosova)
- “Seven Constitutional Court judges on Thaci’s side” (Koha)
- LDK’s Gashi: Kosovo to have new government next week (media)
- Haxhiu reacts to Gashi: Tendency to interfere in Court’s work (media)
- Haradinaj: U.S. not EU to lead Kosovo-Serbia dialogue (Koha)
- Pacolli’s advisor: We’ve yet to decide on new government vote (media)
- Bislimi: Serbia failed to reflect, reciprocity measures to be stepped up (Kallxo)
- Hoti: MPs to have lot of work on economic revival measures (media)
- Kurti, Pendarovski discuss cooperation and Covid-19 (media)
- Ahmeti: Measures against COVID – 19 must be reviewed (media)
Kosovo Media Highlights
One new case of coronavirus in last 24 hours (media)
Kosovo’s National Institute for Public Health announced that of 145 tests carried out yesterday, only one has tested positive for coronavirus.
Media also report that a 52-year-old man from Zubin Potok died yesterday as a result of coronavirus complications. He was being treated in the Kragujevac hospital.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in Kosovo currently stands at 1,005; of which 162 active cases.
President Hashim Thaci’s interview to Klan Kosova
Kosovo President Hashim Thaci said in an interview to Klan Kosova on Thursday that representatives of political parties told him in their consultations that they were against an eventual disbanding of the Assembly.
“In our meetings, representatives of all parties were in favor of looking into the possibility of forming a new government and not disbanding the Assembly,” he said. “As President, I cannot take into consideration the position of only one political party, but rather the official positions of all political parties. Therefore, my decree derives from that will of the MPs that make up over 2/3 of the Assembly … I cannot interpret the decree; I cannot interpret the work of the Constitutional Court. They are looking into the matter. We need to patiently wait for their decision and the decision must be respected by all.”
Thaci said he will respect the decision of the Constitutional Court on his decree giving LDK’s candidate Avdullah Hoti the mandate to form a new government. “I will respect the decision of the Constitutional Court. All political parties must respect the decision. Society needs to respect it too and we need to learn to respect the decisions [of the Court] even when we don’t like them,” he said.
Asked if he would resign if the Constitutional Court rules that he violated the Constitution with his decree, Thaci said: “I don’t know what the decision of the Constitutional Court will be. I don’t know their opinions. We need to leave them to work in peace. But if need be, the President must pay the price only for the sake of the country moving forward”.
Thaci denied claims of a secret agreement for Kosovo’s partition saying that his meeting with Serbian Aleksandar Vucic and U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell in Washington focused only on the possibility of resuming the dialogue. Thaci also said that at the table where he will sit there will be no talks on partition or territorial exchange.
Thaci called on acting Prime Minister Albin Kurti to reveal what he has discussed with EU High Representative Josep Borrell and the Special Representative for the Kosovo – Serbia dialogue, Miroslav Lajcak. “The people and the Assembly must be informed about Kurti’s conversations and communication. Borrell was the godfather of the coalition agreement between the Vetevendosje Movement and the Democratic League of Kosovo,” he said.
Thaci said he had nothing to do with the downfall of the Kurti government and that he did not coordinate with former Interior Minister Agim Veliu. “The Assembly brought it down with over 2/3 of votes. It was political punishment. There will be no agreement with Serbia without the engagement of Kosovo’s leadership. Kurti deserted when it was time to defend Kosovo. I don’t know that there is any secret agreement. Neither secret meetings nor a secret agreement.”
Thaci argued that Kurti allowed Serbia to wield sovereignty over the northern part of Kosovo. “Only in 2005-2006, Serbia had more authority in the north. Accepting the tests from Serbia in the current circumstances, the construction of an iron border fence between Kosovo and Albania and opening the border with Serbia were wrong and unwise decisions and they were detrimental to the state of Kosovo. This is not an accusation, this is a reality, and everyone knows this.”
Thaci argued that the so-called Albanian Volunteers Guard which issued a communique recently threatening Kurti, in fact does not even exist. “I have consulted all security and defense mechanisms of the Republic of Kosovo. Such an organisation does not exist. This is what I was told through official information from state mechanisms,” Thaci said. He also argued that Kurti “made up this drama to create confusion and tension before the decision of the Constitutional Court”. “Kurti knows that I know that he and his team are behind this,” Thaci added.
Abazi: Prosecution to interview Thaci regarding his statements (Klan Kosova)
Acting Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo Haki Abazi reacted to the interview President Hashim Thaci gave to Klan Kosova where he is reported to have said that acting Prime Minister Albin Kurti made up threats being made against him.
Abazi said that Thaci’s trip to Albania and “his false statements and allegations that Kurti himself authored the threat” are attempts at increasing tensions in Kosovo. “The state cannot be challenged in this way. He needs to be interviewed as to what his sources are,” Abazi said.
“It is the second time in a week that the President says he has information about what is happening – about attack on Kurti saying he has complete information as to where it originated from. It is concerning if the State Prosecutor does not act to interview him about these statements which undermine the state and institutions,” Abazi told Klan Kosova.
“Seven Constitutional Court judges on Thaci’s side” (Koha)
The Constitutional Court will overturn President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci’s decree for prime ministerial candidate but will at the same time pave way to his plan for forming a new government without Vetevendosje Movement, Koha writes adding that seven judges from the Constitutional Court are siding with Thaci.
An unnamed source added that the decree naming Avdullah Hoti as candidate for prime minister will be declared unconstitutional as it was announced without receiving a definite response from Vetevendosje.
However, the ruling will also state that it is not absolutely necessary for Kosovo to head to elections after a successful motion of no confidence. It will also foresee the possibility of a new government not consisting of the winning party in elections.
The Court, the source added, will set a 15-day deadline for the party to which the president asks to form the government to put forward a candidate for prime minister or give up the right to form the new government.
“There are seven judges working to find supporting arguments for this,” the source said noting that one of the judges is against this line and the ninth judge is receiving medical treatment and is not expected to vote on the matter.
Kurti, Pendarovski discuss cooperation and Covid-19 (media)
Acting Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti had a telephone conversation with North Macedonian President Stevo Pendarovski.
According to a statement issued by the Government of Kosovo, the two officials discussed bilateral relations and the Covid-19 situation.
“Bilateral and regional cooperation is always important, especially at this present time. Republic of Kosovo remains committed towards bilateral relations with its neighbours and towards being a key and contributing factor in the region,” the statement reads.
LDK’s Gashi: Kosovo to have new government next week (media)
Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) parliamentary group chief, Arben Gashi, said on Thursday that their parliamentary group discussed the program and working plan of the Hoti government and that Kosovo will have a new government next week. Asked if he believed Kosovo will have a new government next month, Gashi said: “not next month, but next week”.
Gashi said the government program will be ready in two days and be made available to the public. He said one of the top priorities of the Hoti government would be the dialogue with Serbia. “With regards to the dialogue, the government program includes the strategic orientation confirmed by the LDK Strategic Council last week. These pillars were confirmed in 2019. The ruling of the Constitutional Court is also part of concrete decisions,” he added.
Gashi said when the Constitutional Court announces its decision, he will reactivate the request for an extraordinary session of the Assembly. “We will set the date and time, and this should not take longer than 24 hours,” he said.
Haxhiu reacts to Gashi: Tendency to interfere in Court’s work (media)
Kosovo’s acting Minister of Justice and senior member of the Vetevendosje Movement, Albulena Haxhiu, reacted to a statement by LDK parliamentary group chief Arben Gashi who said on Thursday that the new government will be formed next week. Haxhiu said: “First of all, it is absurd to claim a time when the decision of the Constitutional Court will be announced, unless they control certain judges. We have raised the alarm about pressure on the Constitutional Court, therefore, this statement only confirms their tendencies to interfere in the Court’s work”.
Haxhiu also said that the Constitutional Court should not be influenced from any pressure. “Under no circumstance should the Constitutional Court be influenced from different pressures coming from the deals made by President Thaci and the LDK. We are waiting for the decision of the Constitutional Court. The decision must protect the constitutional order, democracy and the people’s will,” she said.
Haradinaj: U.S. not EU to lead Kosovo-Serbia dialogue (Koha)
Leader of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) Ramush Haradinaj said that the U.S. should be leading the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue and not the EU.
“I think the EU is proving to be incompetent on the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue. They are extremely slow-moving, they are in no rush. They have no plans in rushing forward our EU integration. The Americans have a different approach, they want to create security so that they can deal with other issues,” Haradinaj said in an interview with KTV.
He added that there should be no expectations to give to Serbia something in exchange for its recognition of Kosovo as an independent country and that the danger of border changes is over.
“I don’t think the redrawing of borders is an option. The danger lies in the Dodik Republic. I am against a Dodik Republic but we should not frighten ourselves with this. To get rid of this fear, we need to insist on mutual recognition under existing borders.”
He said that the possible new government led by Avdullah Hoti from the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) would not be part of what he called border experiments. He noted that except for Lutfi Haziri, he believed the rest of the LDK is against border changes.
Pacolli’s advisor: We’ve yet to decide on new government vote (media)
Naim Murseli, an advisor to New Kosovo Alliance (AKR) leader Behgjet Pacolli, reacted to a statement made on Thursday by LDK parliamentary group chief Arben Gashi who said that the new government of Kosovo will be formed next week.
Murseli said no one should speculate on Pacolli’s vote in the Assembly because the AKR leader has yet to decide whether he will vote in favor of the Hoti government. “There should also be no speculation about the decision of the Constitutional Court,” he said. “What is certain is that he [Pacolli] will respect his mandate as an MP and that the AKR will not be part of the new government. It is important to respect the final decision of the Constitutional Court and not to provoke the situation”.
Bislimi: Serbia failed to reflect, reciprocity measures to be stepped up (Kallxo)
Acting Minister of Finance and Transfers, Besnik Bislimi, said that the government of Kosovo is expected to introduce additional reciprocity measures towards Serbia as the latter has failed to reflect on its approach towards Kosovo.
Speaking at the “Jeta ne Kosove” show, Bislimi said: “Reciprocity towards Serbia is happening as we said it would but there is no reflection on the part of Serbia.”
He added that the greatest advantage of reciprocity measures is that every government in Europe sees what barriers Kosovo has faced for years from Serbia. “The measures were supposed to have increased as of this week but at this stage I am dealing with the emergency package,” Bislimi said.
Hoti: MPs to have lot of work on economic revival measures (media)
Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) candidate for Prime Minister, Avdullah Hoti, said in a Facebook post on Thursday that after the formation of the new government, members of the Kosovo Assembly will have their hands full of work for the implementation of economic revival measures.
“We discussed the Government Program with the parliamentary group, a very fruitful discussion. MPs will have a lot of work in the very first days of the new government, to adopt the measures for economic revival,” Hoti wrote.
Ahmeti: Measures against COVID – 19 must be reviewed (media)
All news outlets reported on Thursday evening that Prishtina Mayor Shpend Ahmeti said in a Facebook post that the restrictive measures against COVID – 19 must be reviewed, “as they don’t correspond with the situation”. “They are not even being respected by the citizens – and the police and inspectors are unable to enforce them,” he said.
Ahmeti suggested that Kosovo needs to intensify the reopening after an isolation of over two months. He said that the gradual reopening of kindergartens and schools should be among the new focus measures. He also said that quarantine at the student dormitory must be closed and that borders must be opened, primarily with Albania.