- “Sun Valley” under construction (RTK1)
- Thaçi: Attack against Petrovic, attack on freedom of speech (RTK)
- Limaj announces decision on suspension of tariff (RTK1)
- Thaçi leaves CEC dysfunctional (KTV)
- Mustafa: No-one will be prohibited to run for LDK chairperson (KTV)
- Kosnett to Haradinaj: The problem is not the law, the problem is politics (RTK)
- Veseli announces strong measures against corruption and nepotism (RTK1)
- Shala: Recognition first, then demarcation with Serbia
“Sun Valley” under construction
Over 1,500 Serb residents will soon be accommodated in the new houses that are being constructed in Mitrovica/Mitrovicë North. Serbs from different places of Serbia will be brought to the place that has already been named as “Sun Valley”. Furthermore, it is noted that construction of a part of the houses in Zvecan/Zveçan, not far away, also part of this project, has already been completed.
However, the presence of RTK cameras disturbed the peace of Serb security members. They constantly observed the RTK crew.
Nevertheless, if politics has created divisions between Serbs and Albanians, this is not also the case for businessmen in Zvecan/Zveçan. Albanian residents of Kosovo north say that construction is being done by companies owned by Albanians. But, these are not the only houses that are being constructed.
Gëzim Paçarada, an Albanian resident of Suhodoll village, says that constructions have regularly taken place in this area.
According to Paçarada, Belgrade is filling in this area with residents from all over Serbia.
While Serbs are continuing their constructions with high intensity, this is impossible for Albanians of the north. There are more than fours that no Albanian house was built in “Kroi i Vitakut” neighbourhood and all over Mitrovica/Mitrovicë North.
Paçarada called on central institutions of Kosovo to help them with reconstruction of houses in this area, in order for Albanian residents to return to their properties.
The same thing was also requested by Ali Kadriu, an Albanian resident of “Kroi i Vitakut” neighbourhood.
Constructions at “Sun Valley” are taking place at a time when the four northern municipalities are without mayors. RTK tried to get a response from the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning about this matter, if the construction in this location without Ministry’s permit, but it was impossible.
Thaçi: Attack against Petrovic, attack on freedom of speech
Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi believes that the attack on the Member of Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo, Slobodan Petrovic, who is also chairman of the Serb Liberal Party, is an attack on freedom of speech and against an elected representative of the people.
“As the President of the Republic of Kosovo, I strongly condemn this attack, and I call on the law enforcement institutions to take all the necessary actions to bring the attackers to law,” Thaçi wrote in his reaction on Facebook.
“Institutional integration and political pluralism should be the common democratic values of all citizens of the Republic of Kosovo,” the President stressed.
Limaj announces decision on suspension of tariff
Deputy Prime Minister Fatmir Limaj considers demands of the opposition for non-continuation of talks in Brussels as illogical, while the state delegation is mandated by the Assembly to continue talks with the Serbian side.
Limaj said that the governing coalition will reflect regarding the situation, announcing a sooner decision on suspension of the tariff.
The co-chairman of delegation on talks also responded to the opposition, which sent the Law on Dialogue to the Constitutional Court.
Limaj made these statements in an interview with RTK.
“Kosovo is not ready to revoke the tariff without fulfilment of some conditions that Serbia has to. I expect than in the coming days we will overcome this obstacle and start the Dialogue that would lead to final recognition of Kosovo by Serbia. I expect that in the coming days the coalition partners to help the State Delegation perform its duty for which it was created. After all, the Delegation was created for Dialogue.”
Moderator: In the other case, in case the tariff is not suspended, is there any reason to keep this format voted by the Assembly of Kosovo?
“It is the Assembly of Kosovo and no one else that gives a response to this, but what I expect is that we will find a solution and Kosovo will be part of table of talks. There is no alternative to dialogue. The moment that things start to return to normality I do not understand how the opposition wants to question its parliamentary role by sending it [Law on Dialogue] to the Court and leave dialogue without a mandate, or strip the Assembly of the opportunities it has today to follow and monitor the whole dialogue process. Without this Law, the situation returns to what it was before 8-9 months ago. I have a big question mark. The opposition has a big problem with the President, or it does not?” Limaj asked.
Thaçi leaves CEC dysfunctional
Central Election Commission (CEC) keeps on being not functional, until the Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi makes a decision on appointment of new CEC members.
Political parties represented in the Kosovo Assembly say they have long time ago submitted their nominations for CEC members, but it is up to the President to make the decision for their appointment.
Basri Musmurati, General Secretary of PDK, stated to Radio Free Europe that functionalisation of CEC is no longer in hands of political parties. But according to him, the stagnation in functionalisation of CEC has happened because of the dispute about representation at CEC by the Government coalition political parties.
Ilir Gashi, LDK’s representative at CEC until the new composition is formed, told RFE that the situation within CEC is not good. This is because that currently, CEC, even its old composition, cannot convene to carry out the tasks deriving from the laws and the Constitution.
On the other hand, Isuf Zejna of Democracy Plus, talking to Radio Free Europe, said that the issue of functionalising new CEC composition occurred because President Thaçi asked the three political entities that used to be members of the pre-election coalition, and later on also PSD, to propose their members for CEC.
Mustafa: No-one will be prohibited to run for LDK chairperson
The LDK leader Isa Mustafa stated that they would close the door to no-one to run for the LDK leader.
At a press conference following the LDK Chairmanship meeting, Mustafa said that they would transfer responsibility to anyone who feels ready to be challenged with this post. He added that LDK is unified, and it will maintain its course.
Mustafa announced that the election process in the LDK branches and sub-branches has already started.
He pointed out that one of their objectives was to strengthen LDK through unity in the party.
According to Mustafa, the dialogue with Serbia has entered a blind alley, and the best way out is to enter elections, in order to gain legitimacy. He added that LDK does not agree with any border correction, or with re-opening Kosovo’s sovereignty.
Kosnett to Haradinaj: The problem is not the law, the problem is politics
The US Ambassador Philip Kosnett says that the problem why corruption is not being fought in Kosovo is not the laws, but the politics that is meddling in hiring and in judiciary.
Kosnett, wrote after the meeting he had with Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj and discussions on fighting of corruption.
At Prime Minister’s High Level Rule of Law meeting, I heard assurances Kosovo has the laws and resources it needs to fight corruption and implement equal justice for all citizens, without special treatment for the well-connected. But the problem is not the law, the problem is politics. Americans speak out because of our commitment to Kosovo’s future,” the US Ambassador wrote.
“Do Kosovo’s leaders have the political will to turn words to action and stop meddling in hiring and judiciary processes and do Kosovo’s citizens believe in Kosovo’s democracy enough to demand action? By the way, who’s missing from this photo? Kosovo succeeds when women lead,” Ambassador Kosnett wrote on Twitter.
Veseli announces strong measures against corruption and nepotism
The Kosovo Assembly Speaker Kadri Veseli said on Wednesday that the Anticorruption Agency has been doing a good, non-political job; therefore, it will be supported by all the institutions.
On his visit to the Anticorruption Agency, along with Minister of Justice Abelard Tahiri, Veseli announced strong legal measures against corruption and nepotism.
Speaking to the media about fighting corruption and nepotism, Veseli said that nobody who is involved in those phenomena will go unpunished.
“We will not tolerate, and we will respond appropriately to the unstoppable sick tendencies for questioning trust in the state. Actions and steps will be taken to develop policies and to draw up harsh laws that have never been seen in Kosovo before,” Veseli stressed.
He reiterated that harsh punishment will happen also in regard to the recent cases of nepotism.
On the other hand, Minister of Justice Abelard Tahiri stated that amendments to the Law on Declaration of Assets have been positive, as a result of which, the number of officials to declare their assets has been doubled.
“Doubling of the list will increase transparency and reinforce accountability to citizens,” Minister Tahiri said.
Shaip Havolli, Director of the Anticorruption Agency, said that the Kosovo Assembly and Ministry of Justice have given invaluable contribution in development of the Agency.
He said that at the meeting, they discussed the role, performance, and challenges of the Agency, achievements this year and implementation of the new Anticorruption Law, as well as implementation of other laws related to this area.
Shala: Recognition first, then demarcation with Serbia
(KTV’s summary of Rubicon show)
Blerim Shala, advisor to President Hashim Thaçi, said that initially the mutual recognition between Kosovo and Serbia should happen, followed by demarcation.
He added that there is no reason for Kosovo to discuss with Serbia, if the agreement does not include mutual recognition.
“The best price of the dialogue is if Serbia recognises us without any condition, but that is an unrealistic price. The worst option is the Association that allows establishment of some Serbian power in Kosovo. We still do not know what Serbia’s price for recognition of Kosovo is; is it the territory, and probably it must be. I think that partition of Kosovo is not an option to reach an agreement with Serbia,” he told KTV Rubicon show.
According to Shala, the leadership in Serbia has admitted that they have lost Kosovo.
“The current Serbia’s leadership have concluded that Kosovo has been lost, and that relations and agreements need to be created once forever. The clear motive of the Serbian leadership is that Serbia should be part of the EU, and they know that it cannot happen without an agreement with Kosovo. Serbia committed crimes and attempted genocide in Kosovo, and this process should have ended as it did. It is up to us to persist on recognition between Kosovo and Serbia,” Shala said.
He added that there is the danger that northern Kosovo faces incidents, and as a consequence, reaching a comprehensive agreement between Kosovo and Serbia may become more difficult.
“There is the danger that there may be tensions, as we are in a tense situation. An agreement cannot be reached through incidents. We are convinced that there will be simulations and incidents. If something like that happens, a Kosovo-Serbia agreement is not likely to happen,” Shala highlighted.
He added that Kosovo is the only issue that brings together Republicans and Democrats in the United States.
According to Shala, President Thaçi considers a slight border correction as a solution, if that guarantees recognition by Serbia.
“We need to consider seriously the final option for agreement with Serbia, even if it includes a slight border correction. We are determined to recognise Serbia. The President considers a slight border correction as a solution. This topic is valid, only if there is a mutual recognition between Kosovo and Serbia. We can call it a correction if municipality boundaries change. It is worth considering the option of the agreement that provides border changing, if the agreement with Serbia is guaranteed,” Shala said.
Shala stated that the tariff has strengthened the role of Kosovo, but he thinks that it should be suspended, in order to give a chance to the dialogue to resume.
“I think that the Platform is the official position of the Delegation, but it depends on what the discussions in Brussels will bring about. The tariff was imposed due to the circumstances that were created in Interpol. The tariff has strengthened the role of Kosovo. Prime Minister Haradinaj had some explicit demands, one of them being that the two countries should not take unilateral measures.
“The tariff will not be revoked, it will only be suspended, and it will be restored if Serbia does not meet its conditions. By suspending the tariff, we should give a chance to the dialogue. Achieving recognition through the tariff is impossible. Haradinaj is playing with the tariff card, saying let Serbia guarantee our recognition, and then we will revoke it. Serbia is using the tariff,” he said.
Blerim Shala is convinced that non-support for the Dialogue Platform by the opposition is completely political.
“LDK has mentioned the option of election and then agreement. There is an endless debate on issues that need not to be discussed at all. An agreement can be made without entering of the opposition in the Delegation, but the Agreement cannot be ratified without their vote. In the case of LDK, knowing the nature of President Rugova, it would need to be within the delegation,” he said.
Regarding the appointment of CEC members, he said that the Constitutional Court will soon clarify and complete the composition of CEC.
“I think that the CEC issue will be clarified very soon and we will have a clearer decision of the Constitutional Court,” he said.