Comment 17 Aug 17

Fixing What’s Wrong With Kosovo Politics

Kosovo’s current crisis is a result of local power struggles and bungled foreign interference – and until people realise that, the political system will remain damaged.

Krenar Gashi
The Assembly of Kosovo. Photo: BIRN

Since the snap parliamentary election in June, Kosovo has been struggling to constitute its state institutions. Parliament only kicked off its constitutive session last week. But it was unable to complete it as no majority could be formed to vote for a speaker and a presidium.

At first glance, this problem might be fixed easily through coalition building. However, complications soon emerge. Kosovo’s real problems, I believe, are a result of a combination of power struggles and international intervention. Together, they are damaging Kosovo’s political system and the country’s emerging public sphere.

It’s about power, stupid!

The winning coalition, led by the Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK, which has held power since 2007, this time in coalition with two others, the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, AAK and the Initiative for Kosovo, NISMA, won only 39 of 120 seats in the election.

Despite very long delays in summoning the parliament, the PDK’s attempts to use the time to woo MPs from other parties to support its continued rule seem to have been unsuccessful. A procedural vote during the constitutive session revealed an evenly split body, with MPs divided 60-60.

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