Minister of Justice Vasili: ONM Board Unconstitutional

In a letter dated February 13, 2017, recently appointed Minister of Justice Petrit Vasili expressed his concern about the creation of the Managing Board of the International Monitoring Operation (ONM). In the letter, directed to President Bujar Nishani, Speaker of Parliament Ilir Meta, EU Ambassador Romana Vlahutin, and US Ambassador Donald Lu, Vasili argues that there is no constitutional foundation for the creation of such a board.

According to the Constitutional Annex art. B, the ONM consists of five juridical experts with at least fifteen years of experience. The ONM has a key role in advising the Parliament regarding the appointments in the Independent Qualification Commission (KPK), Appellate College (KA), and Public Commissioners, which in turn will vet all members of the juridical branch, assisted by the ONM. Currently the ONM consists of Genoveva Ruiz Cavalera (Spain), Peter Ainsworth (US), John W. Vaudreuil (US), Ferdinando Buatier de Mongeot (Italy), Theo Jacobs (Belgium), and Martin Kessen (Germany).

However, Ruiz Cavalera also announced the creation of the Managing Board of the ONM, consisting of herself, EU Ambassador Vlahutin, and US Ambassador Lu. According to Ruiz Cavalera the board would have a supervising and coordinating role, even though the Constitution does not mention any such function and is clear about the fact that no political figures are to be part of the ONM.

In his letter, Minister Vasili called upon Nishani, Meta, Vlahutin, and Lu to find a solution to the problem posed by the Managing Board.

During a first meeting with the press, Ruiz Cavalera had stated firmly that she would “resist politicization” of the ONM. Unfortunately, the creation of the Managing Board appears to have done exactly that.