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news 07 Sep 17

Kosovo Assembly Ends Deadlock by Electing Speaker

The 35-day deadlock in Kosovo's parliament over the election of a speaker ended on Thursday when Kadri Veseli of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK, was chosen by a narrow margin.

Perparim Isufi
Kosovo parliament in session. Photo: Archive photo: /Visar K

Kosovo's parliament finally elected Kadri Veseli as its new speaker on Thursday, one day after leaders of the new PAN government coalition – Veseli of the PDK, Ramush Haradinaj of the AAK, Fatmir Limaj of NISMA and Behgjet Pacolli of the AKR – reached an agreement with the main Kosovo Serb party, Lista Srpska.

In the vote, 62 MPs voted in favour of Veseli's election while 52 were against.

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci on Thursday gave a mandate to Ramush Haradinaj, the candidate of the PAN coalition, to form a government.

Kadri Veseli, the newly-elected parliament speaker has announced that MPs will probably vote on the new government on Saturday.

Lista Srpska, with nine MPs, committed itself to voting for the new speaker although it is still pondering whether the support a new government led by Ramush Haradinaj, depending on Belgrade's position on the issue.

“Regarding the vote for the [Haradinaj-led] government we will decide following consultations with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and the Director for Kosovo and Metohija in the Serbian government, Marko Djuric,” Lista Srpska MP Igor Simic said on Thursday.

Late on Wednesday, according to media reports, Lista Srpska agreed with PAN on a third ministerial post, the Agriculture Ministry, which had been allocated to the AKR, led by Pacolli. Lista Srpska will also hold the the Local Government and Returnee ministries.

Pacolli’s party has four ministries.

As the biggest partner in the government, the Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK, will have the post of Deputy Prime Minister plus six ministries.

Haradinaj's Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, AAK, will have the Prime Minister’s post, plus three other ministries.

A junior partner in the coalition, Limaj's NISMA, will have the post of Deputy Prime Minister and three other ministries.

Thursday's vote ended a long-lasting constitutive session of parliament, which started on August 3.

Since then, the assembly has been convened five more times. However, the PAN coalition failed to nominate a candidate for the post of speaker post because it lacked a majority in the 120-seat parliament following the inconclusive result of the June general election.

The new ruling coalition, including Lista Srpska, is expected to have the support of 63 of the 120 MPs.

Opposition parties and analyst have questioned the likely new government's strength of purpose and durability and have cast doubts on whether it will be able to take major decisions.

A new session of parliament that will vote on Haradinaj’s proposed cabinet may be held within days.

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