thursday, 22 august of 2019


Kosovo Parliament Dissolves Itself, Opening Way to Snap Election

Kosovo’s parliament dissolved itself and opened the way to early elections following last month’s sudden resignation of Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj to face war-crimes prosecutors.

The assembly’s decision Thursday puts pressure on President Hashim Thaci to set a date for a snap vote. With his Democratic Party of Kosovo trailing in opinion polls, Thaci had sought cabinet changes to delay a showdown at the ballot box against Haradinaj’s party, the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo.

“The president's decision is expected next week,“ Bekim Collaku, Thaci’s chief of staff, said in emailed response to questions. He didn’t comment on possible dates, though the vote is expected in late September or early October to comply with legal requirements.

If held, the vote may lead to a new government and potentially open the way to resume stalled talks with Serbia, from which Kosovo seceded in 2008 after a war. The European Union, which the neighbors both want to join, has demanded they mend ties as a prerequisite for membership.

Talks between Belgrade and Pristina collapsed last year after Serbia successfully lobbied against Kosovo’s membership in international organizations. Haradinaj’s administration then imposed a 100% tariff on products from Serbia, which helped increase his popularity. He rejects Serbia’s accusations that he committed atrocities in the 1998-99 war.

Key issues for Kosovo include reviving one of Europe’s weakest economies and uprooting corruption. Haradinaj, who aside from Thaci is also at odds with other nationalist rivals for control over the country of 1.9 million people, said he’ll run for office again if he’s not indicted for war crimes. He has served in a caretaker capacity since his resignation.

(Published by Bloomberg, August 22 2019)

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