- Madison: U.S. expects commitment in corruption fight (dailies)
- Hoxha: Visa liberalisation decision, after EU elections (Zeri)
- Mustafa: President to unblock CEC (media)
- Vetevendosje accuses PDK of “suffocating” justice system (Koha)
- “Denial of committed crimes is worse than committing them” (media)
- Dacic’s associate with “dark past” leading Serbia’s lobbying against Kosovo (Koha)
- Kurti: New elections are more than necessary (Epoka)
- Matoshi: Tariff should be reconsidered (Epoka e Re)
- Analysts: Parliamentary elections in autumn (Zeri)
Kosovo Media Highlights
Madison: U.S. expects commitment in corruption fight (dailies)
The U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Kirsten Madison, said that the U.S. through its meaningful contribution to the rule of law sector in Kosovo expects to see commitment on the part of institutions to end corruption from top-down. According to Madison, failure to fight corruption would undermine well-written laws and even most reformed institutions.
“We want to help you make progress and we need serious partners and leadership in the Government, judiciary, Assembly, police and among the population in order to be successful,” the U.S. official said as she presented a donation on the behalf of the U.S Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and the U.S. Embassy in Pristina.
Earlier in the day, Madison met Prime Minister of Kosovo Ramush Haradinaj who thanked her for the U.S. continuous support to rule of law and security mechanisms in Kosovo. In a Facebook post, Haradinaj wrote: “With the unreserved support of strategic partners like the U.S., our country has made substantial progress in consolidating security mechanisms and the rule of law.” “Kosovo is a credible partner in facing international security challenges and always alongside its strategic allies,” he wrote.
Hoxha: Visa liberalisation decision, after EU elections (Zeri)
Kosovo’s Minister for European Integration, Dhurata Hoxha, said she doesn’t expect the decision on visa liberalisation for Kosovo to be taken before European Parliament elections set to take place this May.
“At the present circumstances in the EU our issue is not a priority and it would not be realistic to expect a decision before elections,” Hoxha said adding that she has been insisting on the visa liberalisation issue to be included in the EU Council agenda in June. “So far, none of the countries I had meetings with opposed liberalisation but nevertheless many don’t want to decide on this before parliamentary elections,” Hoxha noted.
Mustafa: President to unblock CEC (media)
Isa Mustafa, leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), has reacted to the failure of President Hashim Thaci to appoint members of the Central Election Commission (CEC). In a Facebook post, Mustafa said the appointment of the CEC members should be in accordance with the Constitution, Law and Decision of the Constitutional Court.
“It is clear that someone will remain unpleased, just as the President had said a few days ago, but it is of crucial importance for the institution of the President to fulfil the constitutional basis and not to refer to pleasing and dissatisfaction. On behalf of the LDK, I call on the President to unblock CEC, because prolonging of this situation will deepen consequences for political parties, the country and constitutional order,” Mustafa wrote.
Vetevendosje accuses PDK of “suffocating” justice system (Koha)
Vetevendosje officials said in a press conference yesterday that there is no serious commitment on the part of Kosovo institutions to fight corruption. Political interference, particularly from the ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), was cited by Vetevendosje as being responsible for the “suffocation” of the justice system in Kosovo.
MP Albulena Haxhiu said corruption is preventing economic development and while the unemployment and extreme poverty is on the increase, there are a group of people that hold two or more jobs at the justice sector. Haxhiu said one such example is that of the Kosovo chief prosecutor who is also chairperson to the Justice Academy steering council, member of the Prosecutorial Council at the jurisprudence commission. “He controls who will be the future prosecutors. One cannot expect these people to fight corruption,” Haxhiu said.
“Denial of committed crimes is worse than committing them” (media)
After the announcement of Serbia’s director of the Office for Kosovo Marko Djuric that there was no massacre in Racak, Kosovo’s Deputy Minister of Defense Burim Ramadani, took to Facebook to write that denying crimes is worse than committing them. Halil Matoshi, adviser to PM Haradinaj also reacted to the statement. He wrote that Djuric is a classic fascist. “Dialogue with someone like Marko Djuric? No thank you,” he wrote, adding that Djuric’s statement killed those victims for the second time.
Dacic’s associate with “dark past” leading Serbia’s lobbying against Kosovo (Koha)
The paper reports on the front page that Slovenian-born Vladimir Cizelj, a dual citizen of Serbia and Israel, is heading Serbia’s lobbying campaign against Kosovo’s independence. According to the paper, Cizelj has a “dark” past and is a close associate of Serbia’s Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic. The paper quotes sources saying that Cizelj was directly involved in lobbying efforts with Suriname, the Comoros, Lesotho and Burundi to revoke recognition of Kosovo’s independence. “He corrupted senior officials in these countries in order to have them issue fake note verbale and closed deals with dictatorships to sell Serb arms and technology produced by Vlatacom,” a source in the government of Kosovo said. Vlatacom company is based in Belgrade and was founded by Cizelj in 1997. Cizelj is also reported to have travelled most recently to Venezuela and met the country’s foreign minister. Kosovo’s Foreign Ministry said it was aware of Serbia’s “brutal” and “deeply destructive” campaign which “spared no means to achieve malign diplomatic goals to undermine Kosovo’s international legitimacy.”
Kurti: New elections are more than necessary (Epoka)
Albin Kurti, leader of the Vetevendosje Movement said on Monday that every third citizen of Kosovo has difficulties in accessing medical care while every fifth does not even seek medical care due to the difficult economic situation. He further stressed that infant mortality is quadruple higher compared to EU countries, every ninth child works while only every third woman is employed. He further added that Kosovo does not suffer from bad laws but from bad governing and weak institutions. “Investments on developing economy have reduced while corruption at public enterprises has increased,” Kurti noted. “Change is now not only a solution but a vital need. Therefore, new elections are more than necessary,” Kurti said.
Matoshi: Tariff should be reconsidered (Epoka e Re)
Fatmir Matoshi, member of the leadership of the New Kosovo Alliance (AKR) who is also Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning said that tariff was a deserved decision for Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, however he added that due to the request of Kosovo’s partners, it should be reconsidered. He added that he does not expect that the decision on tariff would affect relations with the U.S. and the EU. He added that prior to breaching relations with the U.S. each political party should choose leaving the government.
Analysts: Parliamentary elections in autumn (Zeri)
Political analysts the paper spoke to believe that Kosovo will head to early parliamentary elections in autumn and that currently opposition parties do not have the necessary votes to successfully push a motion of no confidence against the government. Analysts also say that despite public statements in favour of elections, the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) is not interested in heading to elections at this stage. “The PDK can choose to bring down the government and also itself by doing so but will not do this at this time. This is because of the fact that political circumstances are not in PDK’s favour,” said analyst Rasim Alija.