Shakeup at Top of Kosovo Politics

The deputy prime minister and the deputy finance minister resigned on Monday, facing corruption charges, while the recently resigned ministry of justice returned to his post.Deputy Prime Minister Bujar Bukoshi and Deputy Finance Minister Astrit Haraqija resigned on Monday while they are investigated for corruption.

In a further shake-up of the cabinet, the former Justice Minister, Hajredin Kuci, who also held the position of Deputy Prime Minister, has returned to his post.He resigned last month after parliament voted through two controversial articles in a new criminal code, which journalists said left their sources unprotected.

Kuci agreed to return to frontline politics after 18 days away when the code was returned to parliament for a third vote and the disputed points were removed.

Kuci returned at the request of the Prime Minister, Hashim Thaci.

Bukoshi and Haraqija are former members of the Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, who joined the “Ibrahim Rugova List Party”, named of the father of Kosovo’s independence, at the last election under the stewardship of Rugova’s son, Uke.

The party then formed a coalition with Thaci’s Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK.

“Deputy prime minister Bukoshi and deputy minister Haraqija have taken this step [i.e. quit] due to their respect for the legal procedures that are being held against them, to create the necessary space for the justice institutions to do their work,” the Prime Minister’s office said on Monday.

Bukoshi is suspected of misusing his public position during his time as Minister of Health.

Haraqija is accused of misuse of his public position during his time as Minister of Culture, when he agreed that his ministry should fund a film, Guest at the Sofra, which was never completed.

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