Kosovo’s Constitutional Court has suspended a parliamentary vote on a new prime minister until May 29, dashing President Hashim Thaci’s hopes for a quick resolution to a political crisis.
Kosovo’s top court made the decision on May 1 amid a national holiday and just a day before parliament was to vote on Thaci’s new choice to lead the government.
Thaci on April 30 nominated Avdullah Hoti of the center-right Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) to replace acting Prime Minister Albin Kurti. Hoti previously served as finance minister and deputy prime minister.
Thaci made the announcement after LDK leader Isa Mustafa gave assurances that the party has a majority of votes in parliament to form the new government. The LDK has formed a coalition with two smaller parties, giving it the required 61 votes in the 120-seat parliament.
Kurti’s outgoing Vetevendosje (Self-Determination) party said Thaci’s decree was unconstitutional and filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court to challenge it. The party claims only it is entitled to form a new cabinet and that, if it fails, the country should hold an early general election.
The Constitutional Court was initially not expected to meet before May 4 because of the long holiday weekend.
The LDK finished second with 28 seats in last year's election behind Kurti’s leftist-nationalist Vetevendosje party, and the two parties formed an uneasy coalition.
Kurti’s government collapsed in March after only 50 days in power, losing a no-confidence vote initiated by the LDK, amid disputes over the handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the removal of trade tariffs on Serbian goods.
Kurti has stayed on in a caretaker capacity. He wants to hold snap parliamentary elections once the pandemic is over.