From: Exit Staff
Vetevendosje Faces Backlash over Last Minute Proposal to Amend Law on Elections

The largest Kosovo party, Vetevendsoje has faced backlash by political parties and civil society over a last minute amendment to the law on elections to allow for the diaspora to vote in elections in Kosovo’s embassies instead of by post.

The move is seen by political parties as blackmail to push them to vote for the president or go to early elections.

Kosovo is set to elect its president. A minimum of 80 MPs must be present during the vote in the 120-seat parliament.

Vetevendosje wants to elect Vjosa Osmani as president but does not have the necessary votes.

At the same time, Vetevendosje got more than 70 percent of the diaspora vote in the February elections – votes sent in by post.

Vetevendosje is accused that by sending  to parliament an amendment to make it easier for the diaspora to vote, it’s actually blackmailing other parties to participate in the voting for the new president or else face snap elections.

The two largest opposition parties delivered press statements on late Friday regarding the issue. 

The Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) slammed the last minute proposal, condemned the lack of transparency and consultation, and called on the majority to withdraw the proposal immediately. LDK’s previous stance was that they would participate in the voting for the president in order for the quorum to be met.

The Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) also slammed the government decision to present a last minute amendment, accusing Vetevendosje leader and Prime Minister Albin Kurti of fearing to lead the country, and hence blackmailing the parliament over early elections. 

Seven civil society organizations requested the government to withdraw the initiative.

“Such an important process for the democracy in the country should be comprehensive, with the participation of the opposition and extensive consultation with civil society organizations, the public and finally request an opinion of the Venice Commission,” they said.

However, during an extraordinary parliamentary session around 10 pm, the amendment failed to get enough support to enter an accelated voting procedure and was postponed for a later date.