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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, May 29, 2020

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Albanian Language Media:

• Thaci calls for swift formation of new government (media)
• Acting PM Kurti: Decision of Constitutional Court, unacceptable (media)
• Veseli: An expected decision by the Constitutional Court (media)
• Abazi: Constitutional Court ruling, dangerous precedent (media)
• Mustafa: Assembly to vote on new government by Monday (media)
• Von Cramon: No alternative but to accept Constitutional Court ruling (Telegrafi)
• Nagavci: We’ll use democratic means to oppose court’s decision (Koha)
• Pacolli: Constitutional Court decision to be respected by all (media)
• Kusari-Lila: Kosovo democracy was betrayed (media)
• Pacolli’s New Kosovo Alliance won’t be part of new government (Indeksonline)

Serbian Language Media:

• North Kosovo: One person infected, no cured and deceased ones in the last 24 hours (Kontakt plus radio)
• Djuric: We will continue to help Serbs in Kosovo (Kosovo Online, TV Most)
• Jokanovic: Constitutional Court failed (KIM radio)
• Rasic: Constitutional Court will be quite ruined after this decision (KIM radio)
• Jovanovic: Albanians are buying time and waiting for the outcome of the elections in America (Kosovo Online)
• Orahovac: A group of Albanian young men removed a street sign with the name of Sloven Radic (Kosovo Online)
• Russian arms, deals with China harm Serbia’s EU path, US diplomat says (FoNet, N1)
• Vucic invited to the 2020 Moscow Victory Day Parade (B92, Tanjug)

International:
• Kosovo highest court clears the way for new government vote (Reuters)
• Kosovo’s President Welcomes Court Ruling On Prime Minister Appointment (RFE)
• Brussels and Washington Must Work Together on Kosovo Deal (Balkan Insight)
• Kosovo’s Caretaker Governing Party Holds Peaceful Rally (AP/NYT)
• Week in Review: The Keys of Power (Balkan Insight)

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Albanian Language Media:

  • Thaci calls for swift formation of new government (media)
  • Acting PM Kurti: Decision of Constitutional Court, unacceptable (media)
  • Veseli: An expected decision by the Constitutional Court (media)
  • Abazi: Constitutional Court ruling, dangerous precedent (media)
  • Mustafa: Assembly to vote on new government by Monday (media)
  • Von Cramon: No alternative but to accept Constitutional Court ruling (Telegrafi)
  • Nagavci: We’ll use democratic means to oppose court’s decision (Koha)
  • Pacolli: Constitutional Court decision to be respected by all (media)
  • Kusari-Lila: Kosovo democracy was betrayed (media)
  • Pacolli’s New Kosovo Alliance won’t be part of new government (Indeksonline)

Serbian Language Media:

  • North Kosovo: One person infected, no cured and deceased ones in the last 24 hours (Kontakt plus radio)
  • Djuric: We will continue to help Serbs in Kosovo (Kosovo Online, TV Most)
  • Jokanovic: Constitutional Court failed (KIM radio) 
  • Rasic: Constitutional Court will be quite ruined after this decision (KIM radio)
  • Jovanovic: Albanians are buying time and waiting for the outcome of the elections in America (Kosovo Online)
  • Orahovac: A group of Albanian young men removed a street sign with the name of Sloven Radic (Kosovo Online)
  • Russian arms, deals with China harm Serbia’s EU path, US diplomat says (FoNet, N1)
  • Vucic invited to the 2020 Moscow Victory Day Parade (B92, Tanjug)

International:

  • Kosovo highest court clears the way for new government vote (Reuters)
  • Kosovo’s President Welcomes Court Ruling On Prime Minister Appointment (RFE)
  • Brussels and Washington Must Work Together on Kosovo Deal (Balkan Insight)
  • Kosovo’s Caretaker Governing Party Holds Peaceful Rally (AP/NYT)
  • Week in Review: The Keys of Power (Balkan Insight)

 

 

Albanian Language Media

 

Thaci calls for swift formation of new government (media)

President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci held a news conference today following the decision of the Constitutional Court enabling Avdullah Hoti from LDK to form the new government of Kosovo.

Thaci called on political parties and institutional leaders to respect the decision of the Constitutional Court saying that Kosovo needs to have a new government in place as soon as possible.

“As the country’s president I welcome the decision of the Constitutional Court paving way for the formation of the new government of the Republic of Kosovo. I was careful in every step I took to make sure it was in line with the Constitution. This was also confirmed last night with the unanimous decision of the Constitutional Court judges. The most important thing is that it confirmed that the Assembly is the highest political institution in the country,” Thaci said. 

“The new government needs to be formed as soon as possible. Circumstances require an efficient and effective government,” he said calling on all leaders to work together to ensure a smooth and democratic transition of power.

Acting PM Kurti: Decision of Constitutional Court, unacceptable (media)

Kosovo acting Prime Minister Albin Kurti deemed today as unacceptable the decision of the Constitutional Court which found that President Thaci’s decree giving the mandate to LDK’s Avdullah Hoti to form a new government was in line with the Constitution. “We didn’t have great hopes about the decision of the Constitutional Court, but this decision is beyond the imagination and under every level (logical and legal). As unjust, it is unacceptable. We will inform the citizens about further political steps in the coming days,” he said.

“There are very few cases or none in the democratic world where the winner of the elections and the incumbent government are willing to go to new elections and this is rendered impossible by the Constitutional Court and the President by claiming fictive majorities in the Assembly … Instead of interpreting the Constitution, the Court seemed to have the following approach: as the President is right let us try to justify him,” Kurti wrote in a Facebook post.

Kurti said his legal advisors will provide a detailed assessment after they receive the full text of the court’s decision. He also said: “Unfortunately, the Constitutional Court has sided with those that have seized the state. The Court spoke more about itself rather than about the issue it was addressing. It devaluated itself. Our fight continues, together with the aware people, against this corrupt class.”

Veseli: An expected decision by the Constitutional Court (media)

Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) leader Kadri Veseli said today that the decision of the Constitutional Court was expected. “The refusal of the Vetevendosje Movement to propose a Prime Minister candidate to the President for the second time, imposed this just decision by the Constitutional Court. The Vetevendosje Movement is now within its premeditated scenario. They wanted to avoid the possibility to govern, hoping that they could win more by manipulating the people’s emotions. The democracy of Kosovo is now in crucial times, so is the future of the state,” Veseli wrote in a Facebook post.

Abazi: Constitutional Court ruling, dangerous precedent (media)

Haki Abazi, acting Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo, commented on the Constitutional Court’s ruling, which found that President Hashim Thaci’s move to give the LDK the right to form the new government of Kosovo although it did not win elections is constitutional, calling it a “dangerous precedent.”

In a Facebook post, Abazi wrote: “What the constitutional court is saying is that regardless of elections, regardless of the election result, the president in a parliamentary republic like ours has the right to give the mandate to anyone whose aim may be to sabotage the election result beforehand.”

“This is the most dangerous precedent that a democratic country can allow,” Abazi added.

“Last night the Constitutional Court in a devious way crumbled the constitutional order by supporting the collapse of democratic order and citizens’ will. The argumentation and justification of the decision is political and antidemocratic and never legal and constitutional. Sad to see the Constitutional Court becoming the amplifier of evil and giving right to the state capture,” he concluded.

Mustafa: Assembly to vote on new government by Monday (media)

Leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) said he expects the session of the Kosovo Assembly for voting the new government to be called as early as tomorrow or by Monday at the latest.

He said the LDK chairmanship will meet and discuss the timing of the next Assembly session and also consult coalition partners. 

Von Cramon: No alternative but to accept Constitutional Court ruling (Telegrafi)

European Parliament rapporteur for Kosovo, Viola von Cramon, reacted to the recent decision of the Constitutional Court on the legality of President Hashim Thaci’s decision to pass the mandate for forming a new government to a party which did not come first in parliamentary elections.

“There is no alternative other than to accept the Constitutional Court ruling. If you want changes in the political landscape, you have to look for them in the next elections. A reaction from ‘the people’ may be understandable, but it does not help to solve the problems,” she wrote on Twitter.

Nagavci: We’ll use democratic means to oppose court’s decision (Koha)

Kosovo Assembly Vice President and senior Vetevendosje member, Arberie Nagavci, said today that her party will use all democratic means to oppose the decision of the Constitutional Court. She argued that the Court went beyond its competencies and that its ruling resembles a political decision.

“It resembles a political decision and after the President violated the Constitution, the Constitutional Court went beyond its competencies because instead of delivering an interpretation they decided to write the Constitution. The Vetevendosje Movement finds the decision unacceptable because it overrules the Constitution and resembles a decision written by President Thaci,” Nagavci said.

Pacolli: Constitutional Court decision to be respected by all (media)

Leader of the New Kosovo Alliance (AKR) Behgjet Pacolli called on all parties to respect the Constitutional Court decision giving the LDK the right to form the new government of Kosovo.

“The solution is returned to the Assembly of Kosovo. A clear and just decision which must be respected by all parties,” he wrote on Twitter.

Kusari-Lila: Kosovo democracy was betrayed (media)

Mimoza Kusari-Lila, leader of Alternativa, said that the decision of the Constitutional Court represents a betrayal of democracy in Kosovo.

“The dark side of this process is the ease of manipulating the institutional chain for damaging scenarios to the country’s democracy and its future.

“The bright side of this process is identification of all actors that easily become puppets of manipulation, forgetting the weight of responsibility and history which will forever remain a stain on their political and professional career,” Kusari-Lila wrote.

She added that Kosovo is free and its citizens have a clear picture of how they want to see their country: “Those who may think they won today will have a very short-lived victory but the shame and the betrayal of the citizens’ trust is guaranteed and eternal.”

Pacolli’s New Kosovo Alliance won’t be part of new government (Indeksonline)

New Kosovo Alliance (AKR) leader Behgjet Pacolli told the news website today that his party will not be part of a coalition government led by the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) but that they will vote in favor of the government in the Assembly. “I am always a supporter of state-building and integration. I hope the government led by Avdullah Hoti will be successful,” Pacolli said.

 

 

Serbian Language Media

 

North Kosovo: One person infected, no cured and deceased ones in the last 24 hours (Kontakt plus radio)

One person was infected with the coronavirus in the north of Kosovo, the last 24 hours, announced today the Emergency Situations Headquarters in Mitrovica North. 

The newly infected person is from Zubin Potok.

So far, a total of 118 people have contracted Covid-19 in northern Kosovo.

106 people were cured, and 10 died from the consequences caused by the virus.

By municipalities, in Mitrovica North there are 44 patients with Covid-19 (40 cured, three died), in Zvecan 25 (24 cured, one died), in Zubin Potok 25 (22 cured, two deceased) and in Leposavic 24 (20 cured, four died).

Two patients are in the Mitrovica Hospital.

Djuric: We will continue to help Serbs in Kosovo (Kosovo Online, TV Most)

The director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija Marko Djuric said that Serbia did a lot to help the Serbian people in Kosovo during the kovid-19 virus pandemic, TV Most reports.

“Everything that Belgrade, Nis and Novi Sad had and the Serb communities and Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija have had, too. Our greatest success is that the six municipalities south of the Ibar, where Serbs live, remained untouched by the coronavirus. We are satisfied with how the authorities reacted and medical institutions in Serbian areas, and Belgrade helped with medicines and enabled infected people from Kosovo and Metohija, when it was necessary, to be treated in health institutions in central Serbia,” said Djuric. 

He announced that Serbia will continue to help its citizens in Kosovo, which will be significantly contributed by the opening of administrative crossings, which he said is expected in the coming days, reported TV Most.

Jokanovic: Constitutional Court failed (KIM radio) 

Jokanovic believes that the Constitutional Court failed this time and that it “neglected the essence of its existence, its functions and the constitutional protection of order.”

Lawyer Zivojin Jokanovic said in a telephone statement for RTV KIM that in this case, only the Assembly, as a legislative body, could react. However, he does not believe that will happen.

He said that there is no one to question the decision of the Constitutional Court because it makes its decisions by a majority of votes, and out of nine judges, at least seven should be present to decide, unlike other courts that can work in the Chambers, reports KIM radio. 

The Constitutional Court in Pristina has decided that there is no need for new elections in Kosovo and that it is possible to form a new government instead of the dismissed Kurti’s government. The ruling of the Constitutional Court states that most elected representatives in the Assembly voted for the formation of the new government after voting no confidence to the then government.

Rasic: Constitutional Court will be quite ruined after this decision (KIM radio)

The president of the Progressive Democratic Party, Nenad Rasic, told RTV KIM that he was surprised by the decision of the Constitutional Court. He estimated that the government led by Avdulah Hoti, if it happens, will be weak and short-term.

Rasic pointed out that the authority of the Constitutional Court will be quite ruined after this decision.

“I must say that I am surprised, knowing the circumstances under which the Constitutional Court functioned, as well as the imposition of representatives. It certainly surprises me that they gave a mandate to Avdullah Hoti when President Hashim Thaci appointed him, I expected that it would be somewhat more moderate, that a certain space would be given to Self-Determination, because they are the winners after all,” Rasic said.

He added that the president (Hashim Thaci) has no right to propose anyone “until the second possibility is exhausted”.

“But with us, everything is done with a sole or a sliding start, and that has happened even now,” Rasic added.

Rasic estimated that, if that happens, the government led by Avdullah Hoti will be weak and short-term.

“I think there are two directions: The first is passive resistance or acceptance with great resentment, or active resistance that could manifest in different ways,” Rasic said, adding:

“As a Serb, what worries me the most is the intention with which they were elected or will be elected. That should scare all of us, Kosovo Serbs.”

Jovanovic: Albanians are buying time and waiting for the outcome of the elections in America (Kosovo Online)

Diplomat and former ambassador Vladislav Jovanovic told Kosovo Online that current events on the Kosovo political scene are actually a mise-en-scène, a political game of Albanian politicians buying time until they see the outcome of the November US elections.

“It’s a game that Albanians learned to play during the old Yugoslavia and later, and that is to buy the time. They’re not happy with Trump’s view of the negotiations, they regret the old days and expect the outcome of the US election to turn things around. That is why it is in their interest to gain time by internally complicating the relationship with constant changes, changes that seem dramatic at first glance, and to postpone negotiations as long as possible, waiting for maybe better times,” Jovanovic said.

Jovanovic, however, believes that nothing dramatically new is happening, but changes, which will most likely alternate by the end of the year, and which will fill the internal life in Kosovo, but also capture the attention of the domestic and foreign public.

“But the goal is a bit feigned. They want to buy time on the political scene until they see what the outcome of the US election in November will be. Then they can definitely set themselves up for those who will be in the US administration then. They keep both options – and not to break the established contacts and cooperation with the current administration and to be prepared for dynamic work in the field if a ‘deep state’ comes to power. They know how to play on two sides and prepare in silence for the solution they intend to achieve. They are very skilled, talented in politics and have that kind of external cordiality and sincerity that can seduce, and in essence they are great masters in that game “, said Jovanovic for portal Kosovo Online.

Orahovac: A group of Albanian young men removed a street sign with the name of Sloven Radic (Kosovo Online)

Radio KIM reports that yesterday in Orahovac, Sloven Radic Street was briefly left without the sign, and which for several decades shows that the young man was born and lived in that street, and who tragically died in one of the work actions of “Brotherhood and Unity”, in 1984 in Slavonska Pozega, Radio KIM reports. 

The incident happened during the day, while Serbian children were playing nearby, a board with the name of the street was taken down by a group of unknown Albanian young men and thrown to the ground. 

The mother and father of the late Sloven Radic informed the police by phone, the KPS patrol came in about ten minutes and performed an investigation.

Serbian children who were nearby at the time of removing the sign, did not dare to say that they had seen someone because they were afraid, like their parents, too. 

Slovena Radic Street is located about thirty meters from the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin in Orahovac. 

It was named at the suggestion of the Orahovac youth, a few years after Sloven’s death at a labor action in Slavonska Pozega. He died as a high school student; he was 15 years old. His grave in Orahovac has been desecrated several times in recent years and the tombstone has been torn down.

The radio reports that parents are upset, as are the citizens of Orahovac, because the perpetrators did this during the broad daylight.

Russian arms, deals with China harm Serbia’s EU path, US diplomat says (FoNet, N1)

The US ambassador to OSCE James Gilmore said on Thursday that Washington supported Serbia people’s goal to strengthen democracy and become a European Union member, but warned that the recent purchase of weapons from Russia and non-transparent agreements with China “do not contribute to that,” the FoNet news agency reported.

Commenting on the report by Andrea Orizio, the OSCE representative in Serbia, to the organisation’s Permanent Council, Gilmore said the US “strongly supports democratic, prosperous and peaceful future of the Western Balkans and recognises Serbia’s important role in achieving the goal.”

“My Government demonstrated our sincere commitment to such a future by appointing the Presidential special envoy to secure a concrete outcome of the Belgrade – Pristina dialogue (on the normalisation of relations), as well as the State Department special envoy to the Western Balkans,” Gilmore said.

He welcomed the OSCE office in Belgrade and Orizio’s assistance in drafting the Media Strategy upon Serbia’s Government invitation.

“You reacted quickly and warned about the restriction in media reporting introduced during the state of emergency in Serbia declared because of the coronavirus pandemic,” Gilmore said, welcoming Serbia’s Government (later) decision to “adjust to the situation and enable the free flow of information and preserve pluralism during the pandemic,” Gilmore said.  

https://bit.ly/3eoGqYO

Vucic invited to the 2020 Moscow Victory Day Parade (B92, Tanjug)

Russian Ambassador to Belgrade Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko stated that President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, has been invited to the military parade on June 24

The parade is organized on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the victory in the Second World War.

“President Vucic has an invitation and based on that invitation, he will visit Moscow on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Victory Day,” Botsan-Kharchenko confirmed.

He told “Sputnik” that many things depend on the normalization of the situation during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Restrictions are being eased in Serbia. There are still restrictions in our country. There are no flights between the two countries,” Botsan-Kharchenko told the “Sputnik” portal.

He said that he had a series of meetings with the Ministers of Defense and Foreign Affairs, Aleksandar Vulin and Ivica Dacic, as well as that the development of economic relations between the two countries was discussed at the meeting with Prime Minister Ana Brnabic.

“I would say that everything we had from the plans remains on the agenda, no one is giving up. And when it comes to implementation, the sooner the epidemic and restrictions end, the better. As for our projects, not all companies took a break”, the Russian Ambassador stated.

https://bit.ly/3chQyRz

 

  International

 

Kosovo highest court clears the way for new government vote (Reuters)

Kosovo’s Constitutional Court ruled late on Thursday that a new government can be formed without holding a snap election, a decision opposed by the caretaker prime minister’s party, which has vowed street protests.

Albin Kurti’s government was dismissed on March 25 after less than two months in office, following disagreements with its main partner, the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic and removal of tariffs on Serbian goods.

https://reut.rs/3eoFaoy

Kosovo’s President Welcomes Court Ruling On Appointment Of Prime Minister (RFE)

Kosovar President Hashim Thaci has welcomed a decision of the Constitutional Court upholding his decree appointing a new prime minister to replace acting Prime Minister Albin Kurti.

Thaci says he is convinced that every step he has taken has been in accordance with the constitution of Kosovo. He added in a statement on Facebook on May 28 that Kosovo faces many challenges and therefore no time should be wasted in forming a new government.

https://bit.ly/3c9TnEx

Brussels and Washington Must Work Together on Kosovo Deal (Balkan Insight)

Joint EU and US mediation in the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, with senior level involvement, is promising. Russia should also commit itself to accepting the outcome of the Kosovo-Serbia normalisation process.

That way, normalisation will lead to UN membership for Kosovo, and to joint EU accession for Kosovo and Serbia. For the dialogue to get back to normalisation, it must achieve three things: greater consensus on the topics of the agreement; rapprochement between the mediators; and, international commitment to the outcomes of the deal.

https://bit.ly/3dfmoQe

Kosovo’s Caretaker Governing Party Holds Peaceful Rally (AP/NYT)

A few thousand supporters of Kosovo’s left-wing governing party surrounded government buildings Thursday to oppose the nomination of a new prime minister by the small Balkan country’s president.

The participants maintained social distancing and wore masks and gloves during the demonstration around the parliament, main government and presidential buildings in Pristina. A big poster at the rally read, “We want elections.”

https://nyti.ms/2Bgw3Ix

Week in Review: The Keys of Power (Balkan Insight)

From election campaigns and post-election realities to the shadow-play of bilateral relations, we analyse the keys to staying in power in the Balkans.

See more at:https://bit.ly/2XJGw6R

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