From: Exit Staff
MEPs Criticize Attempts to Form New Kosovo Government amidst Coronavirus Crisis

A number of Members of the European Parliament (MEP) have appealed to Kosovo’s politicians, warning against using the unprecedented global pandemic for political maneuvering “that would damage the country, its reputation and the path to democracy and freedom.”

The 15 signatories, mainly MEPs from Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, warned that the current political situation in Kosovo risks escalating. They claim that confidence in the political leaders attempting to form a new government has been lost both domestically and internationally.

“[The] rapid formation of the new government in the midst of the Covid19 pandemic threatens to further undermine the country’s still fragile institutions. Confidence in the political leaders of this government reshuffle has been largely destroyed both domestically and abroad. Any formation of a new government must be in accordance with the constitution of the Republic of Kosovo and have legitimacy through the support of a democratically elected majority,” the MEPs note in their statement.

The appeal urged resumption of dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, though asserted that this should not mean that war crimes that have not yet been processed will be ‘swept under the rug’ in a general amnesty. It also advised against signing an agreement with Serbia that could then lead to destabilization of the region, especially one that would involve an exchange in territories.

The signatories sympathized with the people of Kosovo’s frustration over the fall of the government during this crisis, but asked them not to go out in groups to protest, as this may increase the spread of the coronavirus.

They appealed to the Kosovo institutions and the Constitutional Court to uphold the principles of democratic rule of law.

“Otherwise, there is no way around clarifying the will of the population by means of new elections as soon as the health situation allows. Only a government with broad democratic legitimacy can show the way out of this political crisis,” they concluded.

Kosovo’s Constitutional Court is expected to decide whether it will suspend tomorrow’s parliamentary session where a new government is expected to be approved in dubious circumstances. The largest party, Vetevendosje, claims the President’s actions to sidestep them and mandate a smaller party to form a new government are unconstitutional.