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Kosovo's Ex-PM Kurti Stands Firm On Demand For New Elections

Albin Kurti
Albin Kurti

PRISTINA -- Kosovo's former Prime Minister Albin Kurti says his leftist-nationalist Vetevendosje (Self-Determination) party will continue to press for new general elections, after parliament approved this week a new government by a razor-thin majority following months of political turmoil.

“We will continue our fight inside and outside of parliament,” Kurti said in an interview with RFE/RL on June 5, warning that street protests against the “weak” government led by Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti are “inevitable.”

Vetevendosje has been calling for new parliamentary elections since the coalition government Kurti was leading collapsed in March, losing a no-confidence vote initiated by the center-right Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) party.

However, the Constitutional Court ruled that a new government could be formed without a vote, giving Hoti of the LDK a path to the premiership.

In the interview, Kurti reiterated his claim that Hoti’s government is “unlawful” because it came to power based on an “unconstitutional” court verdict.

Because Vetevendosje is the “main and most powerful” political force in Kosovo after it came in first place in elections in October 2019, ahead of the LDK, Hoti’s government will be “short-lived,” he predicted.

Hoti’s fragile government is the result of a coalition between the LDK and two former opposition groups and parties representing ethnic minorities.

The new prime minister, an economics professor and former finance minister, has vowed to move Kosovo forward on stalled normalization talks with neighboring Serbia.

But Kurti claimed the new government “does not have the capacity to confront Serbia and does not have the legitimacy to dialogue with it.”

Any agreement between Pristina and Belgrade would be “invalid,” he added.

Kosovo, a former province of Serbia, declared independence in 2008 in a move rejected by Belgrade. Both Serbia and Kosovo are under pressure from the United States and the EU to strike a comprehensive agreement.

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