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Kosovo’s political parties fail to elect new speaker

Kosovo parliament | wikimedia

Kosovo’s parliament again failed to vote for a new speaker because the PAN coalition, which holds the most seats, boycotted the session for a second day, by that creating uncertainty that the coalition that won a June election can muster majority votes.

The political groups met Friday, a day after new lawmakers were sworn in.

According to sources, Kosovo’s parliament did not continue its constitutive session on Friday because it was again boycotted by PAN - a coalition made up of the Kosovo Democratic Party, PDK, Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, AAK and the Initiative for Kosovo, NISMA.

Since PAN came first with 39 seats out of 120 at the June 11 elections, it has the right to propose its candidate for speaker of parliament, making impossible for the session to continue if it does not attend. To secure at least 61 votes, they will need backing from other political groups or to pick up the support from individual lawmakers.

Parliamentary session leader Adem Mikullovci responded to PAN’s non-attendance for a second day by calling a consultative meeting with representatives of all political parties. At the meeting, PAN asked for another meeting on Wednesday, to which Mikullovci agreed.

But Glauk Konjufca, an MP from Vetevendosje (Self-Determination), which has 32 seats, said that his party will not attend on Wednesday, arguing that it should just be a meeting to discuss the date of the continued session, not to make political agreements.

On Thursday, Konjufca stated that Vetevendosje will not vote for PAN’s Kadri Veseli as parliamentary speaker, so the PDK said it could propose another candidate, and requested a political agreement with Vetevendosje and the coalition between the Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, Alliance New Kosovo, AKR and Alternative.

Enver Hoxhaj of PAN said that under this agreement, if Veseli withdraws his candidacy for parliamentary speaker, Vetevendosje and the coalition between the LDK, AKR and Alternative should vote on the same day to approve a PAN government and its prime ministerial candidate, Ramush Haradinaj.

Meanwhile, Konjufca noted that Hoxhaj’s demand was ridiculous, pointing out that “They [PAN] want to impose absurd requests, asking Vetevendosje and LDK, AKR and Alternative to vote for Haradinaj as PM.”

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, which is not recognized by Belgrade.