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news 04 Aug 17

Kosovo Parliament Fails to Vote for Speaker Again

Kosovo’s political governance remained in limbo after parliament again failed to vote for a new speaker because the PAN coalition, which holds the most seats, boycotted the session for a second day.

Die Morina, Erjone Popova
Representatives of Kosovo political parties met on Friday. Photo: BIRN.

Kosovo’s parliament did not continue its constitutive session on Friday because it was again boycotted by PAN - a coalition made up of the Kosovo Democratic Party, PDK, Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, AAK and the Initiative for Kosovo, NISMA.

Because PAN came first with 39 seats at the June 11 elections, it has the right to propose its candidate for speaker of parliament, making impossible for the session to continue if it does not attend.

The no-show, which follows PAN’s previous refusal to attend on Thursday, has raised suspicions that the coalition has not yet been able to put together a workable parliamentary majority.

Parliamentary session leader Adem Mikullovci responded to PAN’s non-attendance for a second day by calling a consultative meeting with representatives of all political parties.

At the meeting, PAN asked for another meeting on Wednesday, to which Mikullovci agreed.

But Glauk Konjufca, an MP from Vetevendosje (Self-Determination), which has 32 seats, said that his party will not attend on Wednesday, arguing that it should just be a meeting to discuss the date of the continued session, not to make political agreements.

On Thursday, Konjufca stated that Vetevendosje will not vote for PAN’s Kadri Veseli as parliamentary speaker, so the PDK said it could propose another candidate, and requested a political agreement with Vetevendosje and the coalition between the Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, Alliance New Kosovo, AKR and Alternative.

Enver Hoxhaj of PAN said that under this agreement, if Veseli withdraws his candidacy for parliamentary speaker, Vetevendosje and the coalition between the LDK, AKR and Alternative should vote on the same day to approve a PAN government and its prime ministerial candidate, Ramush Haradinaj.

“The leader of the PDK, Kadri Veseli, yesterday proposed that the PDK has another candidate for the head of parliament, with one simple condition – that Vetevendosje, LDK, AKR and Alternative vote for Haradinaj as PM. This is our stance,” said Hoxhaj.

But Konjufca called the proposal ridiculous.

“They [PAN] want to impose absurd requests, asking Vetevendosje and LDK, AKR and Alternative to vote for Haradinaj as PM,” he said.

According to a Constitutional Court ruling, the political entity or pre-election coalition with the highest number of seats proposes a parliamentary speaker.

The deadline to call the parliamentary constitutive session is 30 days after the certification of election results, but there is no deadline for when this session should end with the speaker of parliament appointed.

That means PAN has as much time it wants to make sure it has a majority - at least 61 out of a total of 120 MPs in the legislature.

Only after parliament is constituted can the president propose a candidate for prime minister, and then the constitution gives 15 days after the proposal for the formation of a government.

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