President Hashim Thaçi of Kosovo has decided that the largest party Vetevendosje’s lack of a nominee for prime minister for about three weeks means that it refuses to form a new government.
In a letter sent to Vetevendosje’s leader and Acting Prime Minister Albin Kurti on Wednesday, before announcing that he is going to offer the mandate for a new government to any party that could get enough votes in parliament, Thaçi wrote that the party’s lack of a nominee means refusal of this constitutional right.
Article 95/1 of the Constitution sets no deadline for Vetevendosje:
“After elections, the President of the Republic of Kosovo proposes to the Assembly a candidate for Prime Minister, in consultation with the political party or coalition that has won the majority in the Assembly necessary to establish the Government.”
In his reply on Wednesday, Kurti reminded the president that his party has not refused to submit a prime minister nominee. He added that Thaçi has no constitutional right to decide when the deadline is, and the Constitution itself has not set a deadline for the largest party to nominate a candidate.
Thaçi also wrote that his decision to consult with all political parties on the forming of a new government relied on the article 95 of the Constitution.
The official English version of the Constitution Art.95/5 states:
“If the Prime Minister resigns or for any other reason the post becomes vacant, the Government ceases and the President of the Republic of Kosovo appoints a new candidate in consultation with the majority party or coalition that has won the majority in the Assembly to establish the Government.”
However, the official Albanian version speaks of “majority parties” in plural, which Vetevendosje claims is a typo, and concludes that the president’s consultations with any political party other than the largest/majority party, i.e. Vetevendosje, are unconstitutional.
Vetevendosje is expected to take the matter to the Constitutional Court for an interpretation.