news 08 Jan 18

Kosovo Parliament Chairman: MPs Can’t Stop Special Court

Chairman of parliament and ruling party leader Kadri Veseli described the new Hague-based Specialist Chambers which will try former Kosovo guerrillas as unjust, but said MPs’ attempts to stop it would not succeed.

Die Morina
Kadri Veseli. Photo: BIRN.

Parliamentary chairman Kadri Veseli, the leader of the ruling Kosovo Democratic Party, PDK, said in an article on Monday that attempts by MPs to revoke a law to prevent the new Hague-based Specialist Chambers from operating would fail.

“Kosovo deserved this to happen least in the world, but it will happen even though there are hundreds of arguments that speak against it! It is an injustice that is being done in the name of justice!” Veseli wrote in the article published by Gazeta Express.

MPs on December 22 staged a dramatic attempt to revoke the law that allows the Specialist Chambers to operate, but under strong pressure from Kosovo’s Western allies, their bid to put it to a vote was unsuccessful.

The initiative to revoke the law was supported by the country’s ruling coalition parties - the PDK, the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, AAK and the Initiative for Kosovo, NISMA.

The initiative to challenge the law governing the Specialist Chambers came after KLA veterans launched a petition calling for it to be changed because it was “discriminatory”, as the court will try former Kosovo Albanian guerrillas and not members of Serbian forces.

Veseli, a KLA veteran who was known as Commander Luli during the war, urged his fellow veterans to remain calm.

“I am telling my fellow fighters to continue to be calm and dignified, as they always been. Be proud not only of the war we have undertaken and of the success we have achieved, but of trying to do even more for the state of Kosovo,” Veseli wrote.

He said that “no one can put us in disgrace for the war”, especially not the Specialist Chambers.

Veseli took a swipe at the opposition Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK and Vetevendosje (Self-Determination), who didn’t back the MPs’ attempt to revoke the law on the Specialist Chambers on December 22.

“It was clear the LDK used the momentum of the internationals’ ‘strong stance’ against the initiative to kick ‘old wartime enemies’ [the PDK, NISMA and AAK] who were trying to ‘stop’ the Special Court,” he wrote.

He accused the opposition of political opportunism and said that Vetevendosje, “self-proclaimed as revolutionary and disobedient to the internationals, that night gave the example of ‘extreme obedience’”.

“[It was] a huge revolutionary jump from ‘uncompromising idealism’ to brutal opportunism,” Veseli added.

He further claimed the opposition was supporting the Specialist Chambers as part of its “political struggle for power and ruthless revanchism”.

The US and EU strongly condemned the attempt to revoke the legislation and warned that Kosovo could lose Western support and end up isolated.

Veseli said in his article that “our Western partners are a positive part of the journey towards our freedom and state-building”.

But he also argued that “Kosovo has its real problems and their exaggeration to justify its isolation is unacceptable”.

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