Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaçi will mandate any parliamentary party to form a new government, once they prove they are able to gain a majority in parliament.
Thaçi had a meeting will all parliamentary parties today, all of which supported the forming of a new government instead of new elections, apart from Vetevendosje, the largest party headed by the ousted Prime Minister Albin Kurti.
“As a result of talks, and considering that all parliamentary parties, with the exception of one, are for the formation of a new government […], I will nominate [the candidate of] any party that demonstrates it holds a majority in parliament to form a new government,” President Thaçi said after the meeting on Wednesday.
He later wrote on social media that 91 of the 120 MPs agree to form a new government, and that he will “respect their will, the Constitution and Kosovo’s laws”.
Vetevendosje’s former junior coalition partner Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) said they were ready to demonstrate they have the support of the majority of the 120-seat parliament.
LDK has agreed on a coalition with former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj’s party AAK, Nisma+AKR coalition, and minority parties.
Vetevendosje has claimed that the President has violated the Constitution by forcing the forming of a new government, and the Constitution demands him to call for new elections after the coronavirus crisis.
So far, the Vetevendosje and Thaçi have seemed to disagree on the interpretation of two articles of the Constitution.
Vetevendosje has argued that Article 82/2 [Dissolution of the Assembly] is applicable in this case: “The Assembly may be dissolved by the President of the Republic of Kosovo following a successful vote of no confidence against the Government.” According to the party, this article guides the President to actually dissolve the parliament after the vote of confidence against the Kurti Government. They add the two precedents for this: the dissolution of parliament in 2010, and in 2017 after two no-confidence votes that brought down two governments. In both cases, early elections were declared immediately after successful no-confidence votes.
The President has so far maintained that Article 95/5 [Election of the Government] of the Constitution applies: “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.”
The LVV has claimed that this is not the case; i.e. the prime minister has not resigned and his post has not become vacant for any other reason, but the whole government was voted down in a no-confidence vote.
Moreover, the same article and a previous Constitutional Court decision requires the President to ask the largest party (LVV) to form a new government, and when the party refuses or is unable to gain a majority, to ask the second largest party (LDK).
The Constitution sets no deadline for the party to nominate a candidate for prime minister. While the President asked LVV three weeks ago to submit the name of a candidate, the party has repeatedly stated that it is not refusing the request, and it will submit a nominee at the right time.
However, today’s decision by President to mandate the nominee for prime minister from “any party” able to gain a majority, not even from the second largest party LDK, seems to further complicate the matter, which Vetevendosje is expected to take to the Constitutional Court.