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Kosovo's Political Stalemate Continues As Lack Of Quorum Foils Vote On Speaker


Interim speaker Adem Mikullovci said he would notify parties in the legislature in writing of the next scheduled session.

Lawmakers in Kosovo's new parliament have failed again to vote on a speaker to move forward with the formation of a new government, continuing a two-month-long political crisis sparked by inconclusive elections.

The Kosovo Assembly failed to establish a quorum of 61 deputies in the hall on August 14, prompting interim speaker Adem Mikullovci to end the session. He said he would notify parties in the legislature in writing of the next scheduled meeting of the house.

The failure for a fifth time to vote on a speaker, the first crucial step toward forming a new government, has raised worries that Kosovo could be headed for a political crisis and fresh elections.

A coalition headed by the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), which includes the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK), won 35 percent of the vote on June 11.

President Hashim Thaci has said that he would give Ramush Haradinaj, leader of the AAK, a formal mandate to try to form a government -- despite speculation that Haradinaj may not be able to find enough partners to get the 61 deputies needed in the 120-seat legislature needed to approve the speaker.

The president only issues the mandate once a speaker and his deputies are approved.

The PDK-led coalition, which has accused Mikullovci of bias toward his own Self-Determination Movement (VV), once again boycotted the parliamentary session.

The leftist political movement VV notched a surprising second-place finish with 27 percent -- more than double its showing in the last elections in 2014 -- making it the largest single party in the next parliament.

Officials from the European Union and other Western institutions have expressed concerns that the inconclusive June election results could plunge the country into the same constitutional crisis it faced after a 2014 vote failed to produce a clear winner, delaying the formation of a government for nine months.

The failure to move forward on creating a government prompted Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and the United States to issue a statement on August 13 that said it was "the responsibility of Kosovo's leaders" to end the deadlock.

"We are concerned by the ongoing political situation in Kosovo," said a joint statement released by the countries' embassies in the capital, Pristina.

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