US, allies urge Kosovo parliament to form new government

The United States and its Western allies have exerted pressure in a statement on Kosovo's newly elected parliament to form a new government.
Former Minister for Europe David Lidington meeting Ramush Haradinaj in London, 11 February 2013. | Foreign and Commonwealth Office

On the 12th of July, news surfaced that Kosovo’s government had ended six months of political deadlock by backing a coalition headed by the former mayor of Kosovo’s capital Pristina, Isa Mustafa. News were circulating that the formation of a new government headed by the New Prime Minister can be seen as paving the way for the resumption of an EU-mediated dialogue with Serbia, in which the two countries can sort out unresolved issues that had been left pending since Kosovo’s declaration of independence in 2008.

Following this development, the US and its allies in the West have exerted pressure on the newly elected parliament, urging it in a statement to form a new government.

According to sources, the elected lawmakers should be held responsible for “forming a new government,” according to the statement. The joint statement was issued on Friday 14th of July from the Embassies of the US, Britain, France, Germany and Italy in the capital Pristina.

Ramush Haradinaj, who is a former prime minister and an ex-rebel commander from the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AKK) party, is reported to be the most likely candidate for prime minister.

Current Prime Minister Mustafa’s party known as the Democratic League of Kosovo has 23 seats in the parliament, at the time Haradinaj’s party has 39 seats and the left-wing Vetevendosje opposition party has 32 seats. In a parliament of 12- seats, this means that Haradinaj cannot create the new cabinet on his own.

According to the sources, to form a government, he needs to either create a coalition with another party or to persuade individual lawmakers to back him.

Haradinaj served as the commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army during the 1998-1999 war with Serbia, but he is observed as a war criminal by the Serbs.

The Former PM, however, has already been tried twice by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague and has been acquitted of war crimes.

Kosovo is a Muslim-dominated country in Eastern Europe. It declared independence in 2008 and is recognized by 114 countries.