Kosovo Leaders Squabble Over Right to Form Govt

Prime Minister Hashim Thaci and his main rival, Ramush Haradinaj, remain in deadock over who has the right to form a new government following inconclusive general elections.

Prime Minister Thaci has said that his governing Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK, has a right to form the next government of Kosovo, as it won the most votes in the recent general election.

‘The June 8 elections have been the best since the end of war and while votes are being counted, it is clear today as it was yesterday that the winning party and the pre-election coalition of the Democratic Party of Kosovo and the New Mission is mandated to establish the new government,’ Thaci wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.

His comment follows the formation of a new coalition of opposition parties that has also claimed the right to form a government.

The three parties are the Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, Haradinaj’s Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, AAK, and the Initiative for Kosovo [Nisma per Kosoven].

The announcement of the coalition on Tuesday caused shock in the Kosovo capital, where all eyes on forming a new government were on Thaci’s ruling party.

The PDK most votes in Sunday’s general election. It won 30 per cent of the vote and will hold around 36 seats in parliament.

The LDK, led by Isa Mustafa, came second with 25.75 per cent of the votes, taking 30 seats. Haradinaj’s AAK won 9.61 per cent of the votes, giving it 13 seats.

The new Initiative for Kosovo established by two PDK defectors, Fatmir Limaj and Jakup Krasniqi, won 5.24 per cent of the votes and is expected to have six or seven seats.

Haradinaj told the Klan Kosova TV on Tuesday that the coalition had every right to form a government, instead of the PDK.

‘We are talking about an offer to govern the country by people who were elected … so we, are talking about something legitimate and in line with the constitution,’ he said.

The coalition’s chances of governing have been improved by the stance of Albin Kurti’s nationalistic Vetevendosje movement, which is deeply hostile to Thaci and the PDK.

The movement won 13.51 per cent of the votes, and Kurti said he would support the new coalition if it scrapped EU-led talks with Serbia and cancelled further privatisations.

But, the PDK insists that the constitution gives first choice to the party that won the most votes in the election.

The PDK said if it won’t be nominated by the president to form the new government, it will take the issue to the Constitutional Court.

Under the constitution, the President of Kosovo proposes a candidate for Prime Minister to parliament in consultation with the party or coalition that has a majority in the assembly.

The candidate for Prime Minister then presents the composition of the government to the Assembly and asks for the Assembly’s approval.

If the proposed government does not receive the endorsement of a majority of votes, the President has to appoint another candidate, following the same procedure, within ten days.

If the government is again not elected, for the second time, the President must announce fresh elections.

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