At 11 am today, the Assembly of Kosovo will hold a session to consider the no-confidence vote against Albin Kurti’s government.
The session will be held on the request of the Parliamentary Group of the Democratic League of Kosovo, Kurti’s coalition partner. A total of 46 MPs backed the proposal. It will be held as a closed session as the social distancing guidelines due to Coronavirus need to be respected.
Last night, the French and German Embassies in Prishtina reacted to the situation by publishing a statement from their Ministries of Foreign Affairs. They said that “Kosovo needs a stable and fully functioning government to deal with the crisis.” They urged that the vote of no-confidence in the Government be reconsidered or postponed.
Joint declaration of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of France and Germany,Quai d’Orsay and Auswärtiges Amt, on the…
A statement by the EU Special Representatives and the Heads of EU Missions in Kosovo also supported institutional leaders working together. They called on stakeholders to put their efforts into fighting the pandemic and keeping the people of Kosovo safe.
Statement by EU Special Representative and Heads of EU missions in KosovoEU stands together with Kosovo and calls on…
“This is not the time for political or institutional antagonisms, this is the time for political unity,” they said.
The American Embassy, however, took a different approach.
In a joint statement released by the US, French, German, Italian, and UK Embassies, they called on all institutional and political leaders to focus on COVID-19 by respecting the Constitution. They also urged them to “preserve and ensure the integrity and functionality of Kosovo’s government and institutions at this critical moment and to prioritize the fight against COVID-19 in Kosovo over politics.”
Just a few hours later, a somewhat different attitude was present in a statement from the US Embassy relating to the upcoming no-confidence vote. The same words were posted by the Ambassador, Philip Kosnett on his Twitter account.
“Pleased to see the Assembly will hold a session on the no-confidence vote tomorrow. [sic] As I told the PM today, it is important for the Assembly and all Kosovo institutions to respect the Constitution.”
The statement made no mention of political solidarity or prioritising the fight against Coronavirus over politics.
Richard Grenell, the US Special Envoy for Serbia and Kosovo Peace Negotiations, also retweeted his statement.
The Ambassador’s Twitter profile was inundated with comments in support of the government.
The political crisis started over Kurti’s plan to gradually lift tariffs on Serbian imports when the US demanded immediate and unconditional lifting. Kurti did not back down and the LDK sided with the request from the US. The crisis escalated when Kurti fired an LDK minister over statements against his government’s decisions regarding Coronavirus. LDK leader Isa Mustafa then threatened Kurti with a vote of no-confidence that would oust the newly-formed coalition government.
President Hashim Thaci and the LDK said Kurit’s Coronavirus measures are unconstitutional. Thaci urged citizens not to comply and the Opposition said it was a decision made out of political interest.
As a response to the political infighting during the epidemic, Prishtina citizens have been protesting every night on their balconies. Banging pots and pans and shouting, organisers say they hope that politicians will put the needs of citizens ahead of their own personal interests.