As the coronavirus progresses, the Kosovo government falls, what does it mean?
The coalition government that has led Kosovo for less than two months fell today with a vote of no confidence.
This is the outcome of an internal struggle that leaves the country in check amid the spread of the coronavirus.
The political earthquake in Kosovo appears to be far from over yet. The government that had been in power for two months fell today thanks to a censure motion presented by the minority party of the government coalition led by Prime Minister Albin Kurti, leader of the left-wing nationalist party Vetevendosje, who came to power with the promise to end the reign of elites accused of corruption.
After 12 hours of debate, the censure motion presented by the centre-right LDK won 82 votes out of 120. For days, many inhabitants of the former Serbian province where health services lack resources have carried out casseroles in the balconies to protest against the political crisis.
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At the opening of the session, a protester defied the curfew decreed by the new coronavirus to display a banner in front of parliament that read: “The most dangerous pandemic for Kosovo is politics. They are a disgrace!”
The prime minister and his supporters claim to be victims of the manoeuvres of President Hashim Thaci, a former guerrilla and central figure in Kosovar politics since the 1998-99 war of independence.
And even though PDK independence veterans were defeated in the October legislative elections, the mandate of President Thaci, their leader, does not end until 2021.
Albin Kurti accused the president of having orchestrated the political crisis to finalize a project, supported by the United States, for the exchange of territory with Serbia. According to the local press, this project would mean a modification of the borders between Kosovo and Serbia, which has never recognized the independence of its former province proclaimed in 2008.
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Kurti is categorically opposed to this possibility, just as he refuses to submit to intense pressure from Washington to completely lift the 100% rates imposed on Serbian products, the main stumbling block to the resumption of dialogue with Belgrade.
Under the Constitution, the president could give Albin Kurti or an LDK representative a new mandate to form a government or dissolve parliament, leading to early elections. The LDK opted for the censure motion to protest against the dismissal of one of its ministers by Albin Kurti.