The leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) has agreed today with leaders of two opposition parties – Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) and NISMA – that they will vote for the motion of no confidence against Prime Minister Albin Kurti. The motion is expected to be presented by Kurti’s coalition partner LDK.
Kurti’s Movement for Self-Determination (LVV) party and LDK took power about seven weeks ago. Yesterday, the LDK announced it will bring a no confidence motion against Prime Minister Kurti for severing ties with the US over the lifting of tariffs on Serbian goods, and for breaching the coalition agreement by firing a LDK minister.
Today’s agreements between the LDK’s Isa Mustafa, AAK’s Ramush Haradinaj, and NISMA’s Fatmir Limaj to join votes to oust the Kurti government seem unnecessary if they were only achieved for this purpose only. Once it files a motion, the LDK can be assured that most opposition MPs would happily join force with it against Kurti; surely more than the 61 MPs needed, including LDK’s 28.
However, it makes more sense to look at today’s deals as an attempt by LDK to create new alliances for a new government while avoiding early elections.
The formation of a new government requires the vote of 61 MPs in the 120-seat Kosovo parliament. LDK has 28 MPs, AAK 13, Nisma 4, and ethnic minorities have 20. Although ethnic minorities are now supporting the government, their vote could shift under certain circumstances, and a coalition between the four, led by LDK, would make it possible for a new government to form.
Moreover, the two opposition parties could also possibly join a new government without Kurti – President Hashim Thaçi’s PDK (24 MPs) and AKR (2 MPs).
Given the coronavirus pandemic as well as international pressure on the Kurti government to unconditionally lift tariffs on Serbian goods, the LDK and opposition parties are likely to claim that the country needs a new government without the LVV, and it needs to avoid early elections.
It remains to be seen whether this will be the path LDK and opposition parties will pursue, once they are able to oust the Kurti government. The numbers in Parliament surely seem to make this scenario possible.
What remains unclear are costs in the near future for the country and each of the political parties involved.