Kosovo’s Assembly was once again unable to elect a president of the Assembly today (Aug. 4) after deputies from the PDK-AAK-Nisma (PAN) coalition, and from the minority parties, failed to show up to the session. This morning’s session was itself a continuation of a session that had begun yesterday, but that had to be postponed when PAN and minority deputies failed to return after a break that had been accidentally called by the chairman of the session, Adem Mikullovci.
Mikullovci was forced to pause the session once again today because, according to a Constitutional Court decision following the 2014 election, only the largest party or coalition in the Assembly — in this case PAN — has the first right to nominate a candidate for Assembly president. The election of the Assembly presidency would pave the way to the forming of a new government.
While Nisma’s Milaim Zeka was present, the only deputy from a PAN coalition party who attended, he refuted the suggestion by Mikullovci that this meant PAN was represented in the session. “With all my respect to Mikullovci, I do not represent PAN but myself,” he said from the speaker’s podium. “I am not a number but a deputy.”
After waiting for almost an hour for PAN’s deputies, Mikullovci consulted with Vetevendosje’s Glauk Konjufca and LDK’s Avdullah Hoti, before calling the latest postponement.
Members of the PAN coalition, and those from PDK in particular, have said that they are refusing to participate in Assembly sessions until “conditions” are met, claiming that Vetevendosje are “using” Mikullovci position as the chairman of the Assembly for party purposes — as per Kosovo’s Constitution, Mikullovci is in the chair for the inaugural session as, at the age of 76, he is the oldest elected deputy.
PAN came first in June’s elections with 39 deputies, however they have been struggling to secure the 61 deputies required to secure a parliamentary majority. Although their candidate for president of Assembly has not officially been nominated, it is widely believed that it will be PDK’s leader, Kadri Veseli.
His presumed nomination was fiercely rejected by both Vetevendosje and deputies from the LAA coalition of LDK-AAK-Alternativa in yesterday’s session. Konjufca and Hoti in today’s session again repeated their stance that they are willing to consider any other candidate from PDK but that they are firmly against Veseli’s candidacy.
Although PDK announced in advance that PAN would not be attending today’s session, LDK’s Teuta Rugova did attend, despite speculation that she may stay away. Rugova yesterday voted against party lines and in favor of a PAN proposal to pause yesterday’s session for two hours for “further consultations” as it attempted to secure the necessary votes for its candidate. In recent weeks there has been persistent speculation that Rugova will defy her party and vote with PAN in the election of the Assembly president, and later in that of the government.
Mikullovci called the leaders of all parliamentary groups to a meeting at 12:00 for further consultations to decide how to proceed. PDK’s Enver Hoxhaj is participating in the meeting.K
Image: Atdhe Mulla / K2.0.