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news 17 May 17

Kosovo’s ex-Warriors Team up in Big Coalition

New broad coalition between former KLA warriors is likely to perform strongly in the general election set for June 11.

Die Morina
BIRN
Pristina
Kadri Veseli, PDK, Ramush Haradinaj, AAK and Fatmir Limaj, NISMA

A grand coalition between the Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK, led by Kadri Veseli, the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, led by Ramush Haradinaj and Fatmir Limaj’s initiative for Kosovo, NISMA, was agreed on Tuesday night - minutes before the deadline set by the Central Election Commission, CEC, to establish pre-election coalitions expired.

The three parties, all led by former leaders of the Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, agreed for Haradinaj to be the joint candidate for the post of Prime Minister, while Veseli will head the election list.

On the other side, another coalition has been agreed between Prime Minister Isa Mustafa’s Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, and the New Kosovo Alliance, AKR, of Behgjet Pacolli.

Also part of this coalition is a new formation, Alternative, led by Mimoza Kusari- Lila, Mayor of Gjakova, who also was a former Minister of Industry and Trade as an AKR member.

The only political force heading into the elections alone is the opposition nationalist Vetevendosje party.

If the PDK-AAK-NISMA coalition wins the election, Haradinaj who was recently detained in France on Serbian war-crime charges, will be a key part of the EU-led dialogue in Brussels on normalisation of relations with Serbia.

“Ironically, Serbia which has foolishly and rather unnecessarily attacked Haradinaj, will then have to hold dialogue with the man,” Kosovo’s former Foreign Minister, Petrit Selimi, tweeted.

Balkan expert Tim Judah, from the Economist, wrote on Twitter the Serbian campaign against Haradinaj had helped to raise his popularity.

“Real possibility that Dacic will be prime minister of Serbia soon and Haradinaj of Kosovo. Serbian campaign helped revive Haradinaj’s career,” Judah wrote on Twitter.

Selimi wrote that the grand coalition has the best chance of winning the election.

“Various rumoured poll put PDK at around 23-25 [per cent], LDK 20-22, VV 17-20, AAK 13-15, AKR 5-6. PDK/AAK may win big majority,” Selimi tweeted.

Many people expressed disappointment about Haradinaj on social media, however, as he strongly opposed the current ruling PDK-LDK coalition.

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