Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Kosovo government collapses

Mustafa addresses the Assembly on Wednesday (Tanjug)

The Kosovo Assembly in Pristina passed a motion of no confidence in the Kosovo government, during an extraordinary session, B92's reporter said on Wednesday.


The request to vote the current government out of office was submitted by the Initiative for Kosovo, with the support of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, and the Self-Determination Movement, as well as 12 MPs from the ruling parties.

In the end, 78 members of the assembly voted in favor, 25 were against, while three abstained. Among those who helped topple the government were members of the ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo, PM Isa Mustafa's coalition partners.

The likely date for early elections is June 25.

Speaking at the beginning of the session today, Mustafa said that the motion of no confidence was "political, without arguments, and aiming to hide previous corruption scandals."

The Democratic Party of Kosovo announced earlier that it would support the no confidence motion, saying there was "no coordination" between coalition partners, that include the Democratic League of Kosovo.

Valdeta Bajrami, who heads the parliamentary group of the Initiative for Kosovo, said that the government failed to fulfill "many things" and that it signed "harmful agreements in Brussels (Belgrade-Pristina negotiations)" and agreed to "a bad demarcation agreement with Montenegro."

A vote of no confidence is the only option, and early elections the only way out at the moment, she said.

Assembly President and Democratic Party of Kosovo lesder Kadri Veseli earlier in the day had a telephone conversation with US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Hoyt Brian Yee, telling him that there were "delays in deciding on the request for a vote of no confidence, and also in agreeing on the demarcation of the border with Montenegro."

The United States on several occasions made it clear to Kosovo officials that they expected the demarcation agreement to be on the agenda of today's session, and that this should be decided on before the no confidence motion was put up for a vote.

Also earlier on Wednesday, Serb representatives in the Kosovo Assembly said they would not vote in favor of the demarcation agreement.

This was announced by Kosovo Deputy Prime Minister Branimir Stojanovic, who, speaking for RTS, described the Kosovo government as "a patient on life support - the only question now is who will pull the plug and announce that the government is no more."

A large number of police officers were deployed around the assembly building in Pristina on Wednesday as the session was taking place.

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