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news 10 Aug 17

Kosovo MPs Angered by Latest Parliament Boycott

Kosovo's parliament failed to vote for a new speaker for a fourth time because MPs from the PAN coalition, which won most seats at the last election, declined to attend the session again.

Die Morina
The Kosovo parliament. Photo: BIRN.

Kosovo’s parliament failed again on Thursday to vote for a new parliamentary speaker after another boycott by PAN, a coalition made up of the Kosovo Democratic Party, PDK, the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, AAK and the Initiative for Kosovo, NISMA.

As 61 out of 120 MPs attended the constitutive session, parliament had a quorum, but because PAN came first with 39 seats at the June 11 elections, it has the right to propose a candidate for speaker of parliament, so the session had to be declared closed.

Before it attends any vote on the speaker’s role, PAN has said it wants to secure a political agreement with other parties that its government and its prime ministerial candidate, Ramush Haradinaj, will be approved by MPs.

MPs from other political parties have asked if there is any possible legal way to unblock the process of constituting parliament and establishing a government.

Only after the speaker is elected and parliament is constituted can the president propose a candidate for prime minister, and then the constitution gives 15 days after the proposal for the formation of a government.

Arben Gashi, an MP from Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, which in coalition with Alliance New Kosovo, AKR and Alternative won 29 seats, asked for the legal aspects of PAN’s delaying tactics to be considered.

“We are considering the constitutional and legal issues… also the possibility of continuing parliamentary sessions and forming institutions. My personal opinion is to continue with appointing the vice-presidents of the Assembly first,” Gashi said.

Glauk Konjufca, an MP from Vetevendosje (Self-Determination), which has 32 seats, asked PAN coalition to return to parliament and to propose another candidate for speaker other than its chosen name, Kadri Veseli.

Konjufca said that “Veseli is unwanted by the majority of MPs”.

He also expressed his concerns about the fact that PAN has no constitutional deadline to be back in parliament.

“What happens if those who won the majority do not come to parliament? It seems like there is no rule on this; those who are continuing to act in this way should take moral and political responsibility,” Konjufca said.

The deputy head of the PDK, Xhavit Haliti, told Gazeta Express that PAN would be back at the next parliamentary session only if its candidate for speaker, Veseli, is sure to be voted in.

Asked what would happen if Veseli does not get enough votes to be appointed, Haliti insisted that constitution allows PAN to propose another candidate.

“According to constitutional rulings, there are no conditions on PAN’s right to the parliament speaker,” Gazeta Express quoted Haliti as saying.

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

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