Kosovo Assembly once again failed to complete its inaugural session as deputies from the PDK-AAK-Nisma (PAN) coalition stayed away for the fourth time. The continued absence of PAN deputies — alongside those from the 20 reserved minority seats — blocks the Assembly from electing a president of the Assembly, a prerequisite for forming a government.
The absence of PAN’s deputies, with the exception of Nisma’s Milaim Zeka, was expected as it had announced in advance that it still requires more time for consultations.
Although there was a quorum of 61 deputies, 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.
Since the June 11 elections two months ago, PAN have consistently stated that they have the numbers to form a government, but this has been questioned by opponents, who say that if they really do have the numbers they would not be avoiding the Assembly.
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, an unpopular choice amongst deputies from Vetevendosje and the LDK-AKR-Alternativa (LAA) coalition.
Vetevendosje’s Glauk Konjufca took to the podium and criticized the PAN coalition for blocking the institutional life of the Assembly simply for Kadri Veseli. “In the last two months we have become tired of the PAN coalition telling us that they are the winner and that they have the votes for the president of the Assembly,” he said. “If these two things are true, then why are they not coming to the session?”
Konjufca accused PAN of holding the creation of the institutions hostage, saying their actions were unprecedented in European democratic parliamentarism. “What happens if those that are entitled to propose a speaker do not show up?” he asked. “How long can we continue like this? There are no rules in the Assembly’s Rules of Procedure for a situation like this.”
He insisted that compromise was necessary and repeated Vetevendosje’s stance that they would consider any candidate other than Veseli for president of the Assembly.
LAA’s candidate for prime minister, Avdullah Hoti, told the session that his coalition would continue to attend all consultative meetings and Assembly sessions, adding that it was clear who is blocking the institutions. He insisted that PAN first needs to show up, then to give a proposal for president of the speaker and then the situation could move forward.
“We have already lost a lot of time — the Assembly and government should have already been functional,” he said, saying that PAN deputies needed to be “rational.”
Hoti asserted that the ongoing blocking of the Assembly could not go on forever and that deputies must be prepared to consider other ways to move the situation forward. “We need to consider other constitutional and legal ways to enable the constitution of the Assembly,” he said.
The chair of the inaugural session, Adem Mikullovci, closed the session by announcing that deputies would be notified of the date of the next continuation of the session soon.K
Feature image: Atdhe Mulla / K2.0.