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news 03 Aug 17

Boycott Delays Vote on Kosovo Parliament Speaker

The Kosovo Assembly postponed its vote to elect a new speaker to Friday after the coalition with the most seats decided not to attend the parliamentary session.

Die Morina
Empty seats in the Kosovo Assembly after the PAN coalition decided to boycott the parliamentary session. Photo: BIRN

The PAN coalition, which has 39 out of 120 parliamentary seats, had the right to propose the candidate for parliamentary speaker, but decided on Thursday not to attend the parliamentary session, causing the vote to be postponed.

PAN, which is made up of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK, the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, AAK, and the Initiative for Kosovo, NISMA, wanted a two-hour break after a regular parliamentary session on Thursday morning.

“We need more additional consultations,” said Enver Hoxhaj of the PDK, who is also Kosovo’s acting foreign minister.

But when this was put to a vote, MPs did not back the PAN request and the coalition’s lawmakers left the chamber.

When the continuation of the constitutive session was called later in the day, the PAN coalition’s lawmakers did not turn up.

Hoxhaj said this was because the session leader did not consult other political parties about the decision to continue.

Asked later if PDK will be in Parliament for Friday's session, Blerand Stavileci, acting economic development minister from PDK, said "our stand as a coalition is no."

Vetevendosje (Self-Determination) MP Glauk Konjufca claimed that the PAN coalition was afraid that it does not have the numbers to form a government.

Konjufca also said PAN should discard their choice of Kadri Veseli as the next parliamentary speaker and propose another candidate.

“This coalition is barricaded around Kadri Veseli’s personality, [whose election as speaker] is not possible because this Assembly needs a personality that is clean, acceptable and unifying for the parliamentary groups,” Konjufca said.

“For as long as they do not change Kadri Veseli as a candidate, our stance will be the same, we will not vote him,” Konjufca said.

Veseli is not yet the official candidate for parliamentary speaker, but his name is so far the only one that has been mentioned as a potential proposal.

Konjufca added that it would be good news if the PAN coalition continued to boycott the session at which the parliamentary speaker was supposed to chosen because “this shows that they do not have the votes to form the government”.

The session leader Adem Mikullovci announced that the parliamentary session will now be held on Friday at 10am.

Snap elections were held on June 11 after the fall of the previous government.

The PAN coalition came out first with 39 seats, Vetevendosje second with 32 seats and the coalition between the Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, Alliance New Kosovo, AKR and Alternative third with 29 seats.

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