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UNMIK Headlines 23 May

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• PDK and LDK did not envisage pay raise until 2020 (Koha Ditore)
• Competition is done by political programs not by war or peace wings (Epoka)
• CEC does not extend deadline for Diaspora voters (Koha Ditore)
• Political parties do not respect official terms for election campaign (Epoka)
• IMC bans media from airing election debates (dailies)
• Haradinaj: We will create the army during the first 90 days of work (RTK)
• Thaci in Vienna: We do not seek confrontation with EU (Koha Ditore)
• O’Connell: I would not vote candidates with indictments (Gazeta Metro)

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Headlines – 23.05.2017

  • PDK and LDK did not envisage pay raise until 2020 (Koha Ditore)
  • Competition is done by political programs not by war or peace wings (Epoka)
  • CEC does not extend deadline for Diaspora voters (Koha Ditore)
  • Political parties do not respect official terms for election campaign (Epoka)
  • IMC bans media from airing election debates (dailies)
  • Haradinaj: We will create the army during the first 90 days of work (RTK)
  • Thaci in Vienna: We do not seek confrontation with EU (Koha Ditore)
  • O’Connell: I would not vote candidates with indictments  (Gazeta Metro) 

Kosovo Media Highlights

PDK and LDK did not envisage pay raise until 2020 (Koha Ditore)

The paper’s leading story today is about the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) and the Democratic League of Kosovo (PDK) election promises that if they win elections, they would increase pensions and salaries for the public sector. The paper recalls that only this month the two parties, who were together in the government, signed a document on midterm expenditures which does not foresee a pay raise for the public sector until 2020.

Competition is done by political programs not by war or peace wings (Epoka)

Member of the leadership of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), Xhavit Haliti, is against division of pre-election coalitions into the war and peace wings. He said that political parties should not use these expressions and that they should compete through their political programs instead. He expressed conviction that PDK-AAK-NISMA coalition would win on 11 June elections and added that successes of this party would be much greater than assumed. “Nowhere in the world are those who have liberated the country insulted to this extent. Kosovo has won its freedom through the liberators not those who did not fight,” Haliti said. 

CEC does not extend deadline for Diaspora voters (Koha Ditore)

The Central Election Commission (CEC) has not extended the deadline for registration of Kosovo voters living abroad as per a request from Vetevendosje and New Kosovo Alliance (AKR). Sources told the paper that the decision not to extend the timeframe was taken for concern that this would then affect other deadlines in the election process.

Political parties do not respect official terms for election campaign (Epoka)

The election campaign for the 11 June early elections will be starting on the 31 May. However, the political parties are not respecting this term and they have already started with  campaign gatherings. Experts of political and election processes told the paper that there are no legal dispositions which would foresee sanctions for the political parties which start with their election campaign earlier than planned. They stressed that such practice cannot be seen in  developed democracies and Kosovo should pursue the example.   

IMC bans media from airing election debates (dailies)

The Independent Media Commission (IMC) has banned media outlets from airing election debates prior to the official opening of the campaign on 31 May. The IMC said it understands the media’s duty to report on the campaign preparations but in no way should they cover political activities pertaining to election campaign. The move however was not welcomed by Klan Kosova’s director, Baton Haxhiu, who said that the IMC move was directed at the TV stations and favours web portals and social media. “The IMC letter undermines the freedom of information and broadcasting at the time of offers for citizens [and] suspends the right of the citizens to be timely informed of what the political parties offer”, Haxhiu said. 

Haradinaj: We will create the army during the first 90 days of work (RTK)

The leader of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo who is also nominated as candidate for Prime Minister by the PDK-AAK-NISMA pre-election coalition, said during an interview given to RTK that 90 days are sufficient to conclude demarcation and judicial reforms in order to reach approval for visa liberalization. “So as far as demarcation is concerned, we think that restart of the process with Montenegro is a sign that we are moving towards resolution. However the current version is out of question. That one is dead,” Haradinaj said.  He expressed conviction that Kosovo should have its own army and added that he would try to convince Kosovo Serbs that an army is in their interest. “If this is not reached, we will find other ways to create the army,” Haradinaj said. He said that if he gained the trust of the people, he believed he would form the army during the first three months of his work.

Thaci in Vienna: We do not seek confrontation with EU (Koha Ditore)

President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, currently on an official visit to Austria, said that Kosovo does not seek confrontation with the EU but rather “a sincere and strategic dialogue that would bring about EU integration as soon as possible for the region”. In a meeting with his Austrian counterpart, Alexander Van der Bellen, Thaci also stressed that Austria is one of the biggest investors in Kosovo and a strong supporter. At the same time, Koha reports that in an interview to Austrian news agency APA, Thaci thanked the PDK leader Kadri Veseli for his “very pro-European stance” and urged the future government of Kosovo to transform the Kosovo Security Force (KSF) into an army and establish the Association/Community of Serb-majority municipalities. 

O’Connell: I would not vote candidates with indictments (Gazeta Metro)

Ruairi O’Connell, Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Kosovo, sent a clear message to the political parties and people of Kosovo. Becoming part of the campaign #Asunë (#NeitherdoI), O’Connell said that he would never vote a party which supported criminals or which has included them in their lists. #Asunë campaign is initiated by the Kosova Democratic Institute (KDI) and intends to raise awareness of the people not to vote for corrupted candidates.

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