- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- All Balkan Countries
Kosovo’s President Behgjet Pacolli will offer his resignation if it is recommended by the Constitutional Court, as the country's latest institutional crisis unfolds.
Kosovo’s Constitutional Court ruled on Monday that the vote which led to Behgjet Pacolli becoming President on February 22 was in breach of the constitution.
The Court released its full ruling on Wednesday afternoon, in which it said that the election was unconstitutional because a quorom of two-thirds of MPs had to be present for the vote to take place, and there must be more than one candidate for the post in order for the vote to be valid.
Ibrahim Gashi, a political adviser to President Pacolli, said that any recommendation of the Constitutional Court will be respected.
"If the resignation is requested, Mr. Pacolli will respect it," Gashi was quoted by Top Channel TV as saying on Tuesday.
Ibrahim Makolli, acting president of the AKR, Pacolli's former party, said that the Court’s ruling is more of moral and political decision then a legal interpretation.
Makolli argued that there is no article in the Constitution that determines a special quorum for the session in which the president is elected.
He said that it is also not defined in the Constitution if more than one candidate for president must compete for the post.
He pointed out those remarks related to the complaint filed by the opposition parties at the Constitutional Court, in which they argued that parliament did not have a quorum for the first two rounds of presidential votes, and that a break between the second and third round was illegal.
Makolli added that the party respects the Court’s decision and that the AKR together with its ruling coalition partners would again propose Pacolli for president if elections were held again.
Members of parliament said today the body would not take a stance on the Pacolli case until the official judgment, which they expect to identify the specific violations found by the Court, is sent to the Assembly.
Meanwhile, the opposition parties Democratic League, LDK, and the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, AAK, which submitted the complaint to the court following the vote, welcomed the court's decision.
The AAK said on Tuesday that Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci is responsible for the current situation, which threatens to throw the country into a fresh institutional crisis.
“AAK considers that the individual responsible for the violation of the highest legal act of the country is Hashim Thaci,” an AAK press release reads.
AAK said that Thaci had damaged the climate in the Assembly and other institutions in the country.
For his part, Pacolli cancelled his meetings on Tuesday in Gjakova, where he was scheduled to speak with business representatives and intellectuals. He has not yet made a public statement on the court ruling.
Pacolli took the oath of office on February 23 after he was voted in with 62 votes in favour and four against, while one ballot was declared invalid.
In the first two rounds of voting in the parliament, Pacolli was not able to get the required two-thirds majority of votes in the 120-seat parliament. The third round required only a simple majority. Opposition parties boycotted the session.
Pacolli, the former leader of the AKR, secured the post of president after his party agreed to form a coalition with the Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK, of Prime Minister Hashim Thaci.
His appointment and the formation of the government coalition followed December’s disputed, extraordinary general elections, which had been sparked by last summer’s Constitutional Court decision that the last president, Fatmir Sejdiu, could not also perform the role of head of his party, the LDK.
After three rounds of voting in Kosovo's parliament, wealthy businessman Behgjet Pacolli has been confirmed as the president of Kosovo.
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.