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Ministry of Economic Development can proceed with the privatization of the Post and Telecommunications company, after a court threw out a complaint from Monaco Telecom.
Kosovo's government has received a green light to proceed with the privatization of 75 per cent of the shares in the Post and Telecom company, PTK, after the Procurement Review Body, OSHP, finished dealing with all the complaints of unqualified companies.
The OSHP rejected a complaint from Monaco Telecom International, which was left out of the competition to buy the government's shares in PTK.
The ministry may “proceed further with... the public tender to privatize 75 per cent of the shares of PTK,” the OSHP webpage on Monday said.
Five companies have qualified: Albright Capital Management LLC, in cooperation with Portugal Telecom; Columbia Capital in consortium with ACP Axos Capital Gmbh, which cooperate with British Telecom – Poland; M1 International Limited; Turkcell and; Twelve Hornbeams in consortium with Avicenna Capital LLC, which cooperate with Sofrecom (part of France Telecom).
BIRN has found out that Albright Capital Management LLC, chaired by the former US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, also has shares in IPKO Telecommunications, which is the second mobile provider in Kosovo.
This has raised concerns, since there are only two mobile operators in Kosovo, Vala, owned by PTK, and the private IPKO Telecommunications, in which 93 per cent of the shares are held by Slovenia Telecom.
Three out of the eight companies that expressed interest in PTK, Elkos LLC (a Kosovo company), Geni Capital (Luxembourg) and Monaco Telecom International did not meet the criteria to prequalify for the tender.
OSHP, which serves as a Tender Court, said that Monaco Telecom's complaint was rejected “as it didn’t meet the time frame foreseen by law to file its complaint”.
Years after it first announced the sale, the government is facing many objections from opposition parties over the sale of PTK.
The opposition Self-Determination Movement has urged people to mobilize against the planned sale, arguing that the process is only aimed at filling the pockets of the politicians, not the state budget.
In two high-profile war crimes trials currently ongoing in Pristina, a series of witnesses have retracted previous statements alleging abuse at Kosovo Liberation Army detention centres.