Kosovo’s Speaker of Parliament Vjosa Osmani has warned she will sue President Hashim Thaci for alleging her family were war collaborators of the Serbian regime.
During the past few weeks, pictures depicting two men in Serbian police uniforms made the rounds on the internet. One of them, it was said, was Vjosa Osmani’s father.
Osmani spoke out against what she called slander, and denied that the man in the picture was her father. She also denied that her father ever worked for Serbia, calling this a slander on the part of those who “trade in borders” and “have made Kosovo dependent on Belgrade.“ This was a jab likely targeting Thaci, who, according to Osmani, is interested in the possibility of territorial exchange with Serbia.
On June 9, Thaci appeared on Klan Kosova to imply Osmani’s relatives had collaborated with the Serbian regime. He threatened to elaborate further if Osmani accused him again of promoting the land swap.
Tensions between Thaci and Osmani grew following the dissolution of the LVV-LDK coalition and the toppling of the Kurti government via a motion of no confidence initiated by Osmani’s party LDK. Though Osmani is the deputy head of LDK, and was LDK’s candidate for Prime Minister during Kosovo’s last elections, she voted against her party’s motion and came out in opposition of Kosovo’s new government, led by LDK’s Avdullah Hoti. Osmani is also among the main opponents of a possible territorial exchange with Serbia.
Women’s NGO network Kosova Women’s Network expressed concern over the “constant attacks and slander directed towards Kosovo’s first female Speaker of Parliament.” The American, British, French, German, and Italian embassies similarly called for insults and threats to be left out of public political debate.
During yesterday’s parliamentary session, Osmani accused Thaci of trying to paint her as unpatriotic. “The best way to honor our soldiers,” Osmani said, “is to work responsibly.”
She deemed Thaci’s words as not only hateful, but also inciting violence. Osmani said that her family is now worried about their safety, and insisted that legal proceedings must begin to address the slander.