From: Bledar Qalliu
Junior Coalition Partner that Toppled Kosovo’s Government Seeks to Form New Government with Opposition Parties

The Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) is set to form a governing coalition, on the chance that the Movement for Self-Determination (LVV) fails to nominate a new prime minister or get enough votes.

LDK leader Isa Mustafa confirmed for Gazeta Express he has asked his party leadership to approve a coalition with the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK), the NISMA-AKR coalition, and ethnic minority MPs. LDK’s council will have to vote on the coalition by April 14.

This fact seems to prove our projection from three weeks ago that Mustafa had agreed for a coalition with AAK’s Ramush Haradinaj and NISMA’s Fatmir Limaj before they ousted the Kurti government in parliament, possibly even before LDK brought a no-confidence vote against Kurti.

A new government requires the votes of 61 MPs in the 120-seat Kosovo parliament. LDK has 28 MPs, AAK 13, Nisma-AKR 6, and ethnic minorities have 20 – 67 in total.

The coalition government between LVV and LDK, led by LVV’s Albin Kurti, was toppled due to LDK’s no-confidence vote. It came as a result of Kurti’s disagreement with the US administration on lifting tariffs on Serbian goods. The motion was triggered by the firing of a LDK minister who publicly sided with President Hashim Thaçi, against Prime Minister Kurti, on the need for the parliament to declare a state of emergency that would shift power from the government to the president during the pandemic.

Following the toppling of the government and the dissolution of the LVV-LDK coalition, President Thaçi mandated LVV, the largest party, to nominate a new Prime Minister and form new “all-inclusive government”.

However, the Constitution does not set a deadline for the largest party to nominate a candidate. LVV leader Albin Kurti has stated that they will reply to the president once they are done dealing with the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Moreover, LVV has accused Thaçi of acting based on his political interests. They argue that the Constitution demands the president to call new elections after the pandemic, and not push for an “all-inclusive government on national unity”, as Thaçi had done.

Under the current circumstances, if LVV fails to nominate a candidate, the president can then ask LDK, as the party that received the second most votes in the previous elections, to nominate their candidate to form a new government.

The Constitutional Court will most likely be responsible for either an interpretation of the lack of deadline for the largest party to nominate a prime minister, or a review of President’s decision to push for a new government instead of new elections.