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Kosovo gets new Government

Photo: Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo

On Thursday, the 7th September Kosovo had finally managed to elect an Assembly speaker which paved the way for forming the new government two days latter under the leadership of Ramus Haradinaj.

The new ruling majority consists of the members of PAN coalition (Democratic Party of Kosovo, the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, and the Initiative of Kosovo), AKR (New Kosovo Alliance), a dozen of small parties, and Srpska lista, that is supported by Belgrade.

The political stalemate that lasted for three months was resolved after AKR decided to leave previously established pre-election coalition with LDK and to support PAN. However, the high number of coalition partners resulted in the largest Government Kosovo has ever had: 21 ministers and around 50 deputy ministers.

Hence, for example, AKR with only four MPs will lead four ministries:  Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Interior Affairs, Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning and Ministry for Economic Development.

Srpska lista got three promised ministries, Ministry for Ministry for Communities and Returns, Ministry of Local Government and Administration and Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development.

Yet the new Government destroyed confidence in those were hoping for changes. With a devastating economic situation and the highest rates of unemployment in the region, many believe it is time to get rid of the former liberators who are using institutions as an instrument of political patronage and nepotism.

Thus it is not surprising that Vetevendosje, with its strong social rhetoric and focus on fight against corruption, has become the strongest political party in Kosovo illustrating dissatisfaction of citizens with current political leadership of the country. However, a misuse of democratic procedures and unclear Constitutional provisions gave yet another opportunity to the former warlords to treat institutions as their own piece of property.

However, the question is for how long the new Government will last. For almost all members of PAN coalition – popularly called a war coalition – the prospect of Special Court’s indictments is looming on the horizon. Moreover, the new PM faces many challenges – visa liberalisation, border demarcation with Montenegro, Brussels dialogue with Serbia, to mention only a few – having a very narrow majority with a fierce opposition in the Parliament. Haradinaj pledged to fight corruption and to continue dialogue with Serbia, but with so many coalition partners it remains to be seen will the Government be able to make strategic decisions.

Publication of this article has been supported by the Balkan Trust for Democracy of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

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