Kosovo LDK Demand PM’s Post to Join Coalition

After the opposition Vetevendojse movement invited the LDK to join a coalition, acting PM Isa Mustafa said the LDK’s condition for entering any coalition was holding the PM’s post. 
The acting PM of Kosovo Isa Mustafa | Photo: BIRN

The chances of the Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, forming a new coalition government with Vetevendosje appeared to recede on Tuesday night after the LDK said his party would want the post of Prime Minister.

Kosovo’s acting Prime Minister, Isa Mustafa on Tuesday said the prime conditition under which his LDK would join a coalition government with any party was holding the PM’s post.

“We can discuss [coalition terms] with everyone, but we will only discuss them under the condition that LDK has the [post of] Prime Minister,” Mustafa told the TV show “Rubicon” on Kosovo TV, KTV.

The condition was dismissed as unacceptable by Vetevendosje.

“Vetevendosje does not bargain in any way on the citizens’ will. Citizens on June 11, like never before, voted for a government to be led by Vetevendosje and led by [its PM nominee] Albin Kurti,” Shkodran Hoti, Vetevendosje’s spokesperson, told BIRN.

Vetevendosje, the only political party that ran alone in the general election, came in second place behind the so-called grand coalition led by the LDK’s great rival, the Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK.

The PDK ran in the election alongside Ramush Haradinaj’s Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, AAK, and Fatmir Limaj’s initiative for Kosovo, NISMA.

“The election results of June 11 confirmed the need for change in government,” Hoti added, claiming that “the citizens of Kosovo had placed Vetevendosje as the first party, the largest party in Kosovo”.

He noted that the LDK could hardly form a government with the PDK, as it “has accused the PDK … of capturing the state, and in different periods has trumpeted the need for this party to go into opposition.”

Mustafa did not rule out the possibility of talks with Haradinaj’s AAK and Limaj’s NISMA, however. But he insisted that they would not join hands with the PDK.

Who will form the new government in Kosovo remains unclear, after the results of the 11 June elections failed to grant immediate power to any one political entity or coalition.

The PDK-AAK-NISMA coalition won only 39 of the 120 seats in parliament. However, it needs a minimum of 41 seats – plus the 20 seats of the parties from minority communities – to reach 61 seats and so form a government.

The constitution gives President Hashim Thaci, formerly from the PDK, the right to give a mandate to only two candidates; the second one gets a chance to form a government if the President’s first choice fails to do so. If neither gets enough votes to form the government, new elections must take place.