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news 05 May 17

Kosovo Opposition Launch Fresh Bid to Oust Mustafa

Kosovo opposition parties have initiated a new attempt to bring down Isa Mustafa’s coalition government by filing a no-confidence motion in parliament.

Die Morina, Erjone Popova
BIRN
Pristina
Valdete Bajrami, NISMA, Pal Lekaj, AAK and Aida Derguti, Vetevendosje during a press conference on Friday

The presidency of parliament set next Wednesday as the day when MPs will vote on the motion of no- confidence in the government filed by opposition.

“The situation in Kosovo is not as it should be, is not satisfying, I am not satisfied, nor are citizens”, the speaker of parliament and leader of the ruling PDK, Kadri Veseli, stated after the meeting.

However, Veseli said the opposition would not break up the ruling coalition, and the PDK were holding intensive communications with their partners, Prime Minister Mustafa’s LDK.

Before the Assembly Presidency meeting, the PDK called an emergency meeting of its presidency.

The deputy head of the PDK, Hajredin Kuci, stated after the meeting that his party did not exclude any options when it comes to exiting the current political situation.

Kosovo opposition parties are hoping a no-confidence motion will oust the government of Isa Mustafa after 42 MPs filed signatures in parliament on Friday.

“We have over 42 signatures and thank the signatories but we hope others will also be present in parliament for the vote,” the chief of Nisma's parliamentary group, Valdete Bajrami, said.

The opposition will need at least 61 of 120 votes of MPs to overthrow the coalition government.

“This is a democratic step that serves the country's benefit. I hope that when the parliamentary session is held the government will be overthrown,” the chief of the parliamentary group of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, AAK, Pal Lekaj stated.

Aida Derguti, vice-speaker of parliament, from the opposition Vetevendosje party, said the fate of the motion was in MPs' hands, “in this situation when we have an irresponsible government”.

The no-confidence motion was also signed by four MPs from the ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK, Nait Hasani, Shukri Buja, Rafet Rama and Raif Qela and by some ethnic minority MPs.

Mustafa's cabinet, his Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK and the PDK were not available for comment by the time of publication.

The opposition has been demanding the fall of the government for two years, mainly over the controversial agreements that the government signed in Brussels in 2015 on border demarcation with Montenegro - that is still to be voted on in parliament - and on establishing an autonomous Association of Serb-majority Municipalities.

The ruling coalition has faced bitter opposition both outside and within institutions over both of these issues.

Opposition MPs have even resorted to using teargas in parliament to disrupt matters.

However, the government is also under strong international pressure to get moving with the border deal with Montenegro in particular.

The EU says it cannot proceed with visa liberalisation for Kosovo - an importance issue for the country - until the border issue with Montenegro is laid to rest.

Opposition parties insist the deal threatens to rob Kosovo of valuable pasture and farmland.

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