Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi announced the possibility that next week he will take steps to form the new government. The Kurti government has been removed after 50 days of governance. The removal went through motion initiated by coalition partner LDK and supported by MP’s of PDK (formerly led by current Kosovo President), as well as AAK (led by former Prime Minister, Ramush Haradinaj) and NISMA.
“Next week I’ll take the final constitutional steps to enable the formation of a new Government w/ full legitimacy from Parliament, capable to fight #COVID19 and serve the people. Tariffs & reciprocity need to be dropped to strengthen USA & EU support for Kosova” wrote on Twitter President Thaçi.
His announcement is widely criticized by Kosovo citizens, supporters of Vetëvendosje led by sacked Prime Minister, Albin Kurti.
Thirty minutes later, USA President’s Special Envoy for dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, Richard Grenell shared Thaçi’s Tweet with the following comment:
Once tariffs/reciprocity are dropped (maybe this week?), then Dialogue begins in earnest. I’ve spoken with leaders in Serbia and Kosovo to make clear they must start building confidence today in preparation – and they’ve committed to do so. More to come soon. https://t.co/0DETVaMMPp
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) April 19, 2020
Many people in Kosovo oppose the new government in place and prefer snap elections after the pandemics, but supporters of LDK, PDK, AAK and NISMA prefer the new government to be established.
Kurti’s government has been dismissed under the pretext that he did not remove tariffs imposed by former PM Haradinaj on goods from Serbia and Bosnia and Hercegovina.
Kurti removed the tariffs but imposed reciprocity with Serbia.
“I cannot remove reciprocity without going back to the voters. During elections, I promised them that tariffs will be removed and reciprocity will be imposed. Based on such promises alongside with the others related to tackle corruption, I won elections. Coalition Partner, LDK which initiated none confidence vote agreed with reciprocity. We jointly approved the ruling coalition program. As promised, the tariffs are lifted and reciprocity is imposed.” stated Kurti during the Parliament session on the 25th of March when the majority voted his removal.
His coalition partner LDK did not deny that they supported reciprocity, during and after elections.
“The reciprocity was indeed a part of our program, but we cannot risk our relationship with the USA which is asking full removal of tariffs with no reciprocity”, the LDK leader Isa Mustafa told media before the none confidence vote session.
During 50 days, Kurti government took several steps to tackle corruption. He removed a number of the Board of Directors of the publicly owned enterprises based on General Auditor findings that are related to corruption. His aid, Foreign Minister Glauk Konjufca decided to return 14 consuls and 7 ambassadors (mainly political appointees) to Kosovo because as he said “they broke the law” or “they continue to work even though their contracts expired”.
Vlora Çitaku, Kosovo Ambassador in the USA was a single one to announce that she will respect FM decision.
Kurti was accused by his coalition partner and opposition parties of being ‘anti – American’ because he is not ‘listening US”.
Several Kosovo analysts reminded opposition parties that “those who now criticize Kurti, are parties that imposed tariffs and refused to remove them for more than a year”. In recent days he faced an aggressive campaign of politicians accusing him that he as a traitor because he “allowed 70 doctors from Serbia to enter Kosovo and provide medical help to those infected with COVID19”.
Yesterday, Kurti received a new ‘portion’ of critiques related to the acceptance of 1 thousand testing kits as a donation from Serbia.
As quotes by Kosovo Public Television, a senior official of AAK, Daut Haradinaj, who is also the leader of AAK parliamentary group, stated that even if his “two killed brothers will come back to the life I would not accept help from Serbia”, adding that he is “angry that the Montenegrins refused and Kosovo accepts the help of bloodthirsty!”
Kosovapress agency cites a moderate senior official of PDK Valdete Idrizi as saying that with such gesture “Albin Kurti helped Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic to appear in international media as humanitarian’.
Kurti’s government during this pandemic time left behind ethnic differences and century-long disputes between Kosovo and Serbia to tackle COVID-19. Time ago his Health Minister Arben Vitia in a press conference said that medical help will be provided to every Kosovo citizen regardless of the ethnic background. He even had an online meeting with Serbia’s Minister of Health, for what he and Kurti government has been praised by many senior internationals.
So far Kosovo identified 510 people infected with COVID-19. Twelve of them died.
Kosovo government is focused more on preventive measures because as Kurti stated on several occasions “health system is weak therefore we must work hard in prevention, otherwise situation might go out of control”.