Perparim Isufi, Pristina,BIRN, October 9, 2019

Leaders of the two parties that did best in the weekend Kosovo elections have both signalled their interest in forming a coalition government.

The two former opposition parties that won most votes in Kosovo’s recent parliamentary elections have expressed willingness to reach a coalition agreement, four days after the voters elected a new parliament.

After Albin Kurti’s Vetevendosje party came first in last Sunday’s vote, the Democratic League of Kosovo’s candidate for Prime Minister, Vjosa Osmani, on Wednesday on Facebook called for a coalition agreement between them.

“Finally, citizens not only voted but through their votes, called for changes and the punishment of bad governance,” Osmani said. “Citizens also decided for the new government that should be composed of the opposition parties [the LDK and Vetevendosje],” she added.

“To me, there is no other alternative. An LDK-VV coalition has many challenges ahead of it, but it should have only one interest: that of Kosovo’s citizens,” she continued.

With all the votes apart from postal ballots counted, the Vetevendosje (Self-Determination) party was in the lead after polling 203,052 votes, or 25.49 per cent of the votes cast. It was just ahead of the LDK, which polled 197,702 votes, or 24.82 per cent of the votes cast.

Kadri Veseli’s former ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK, came in third place, winning only 169,211 votes, or 21.24 per cent of the votes cast.

Outgoing Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj’s coalition between his Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, AAK and the Social Democrats came fourth with 92,149 votes, or 11.57 per cent of the votes cast.

On Tuesday night, Vetevendosje’s prime ministerial candidate, Kurti, echoed Vjosa Osmani’s words, saying that there was “no other option” to a coalition with the LDK. “We cannot substitute the LDK with the PDK, AAK and NISMA,” he said, referring to the other parties.

“I will start negotiations with the LDK based on the election result and finally agree. If we cannot find an agreement, we will go to new elections,” Kurti told Pristina-based KTV.

The final composition of the new parliament remains unclear after a coalition formed between two outgoing deputy prime ministers, Fatmir Limaj and his NISMA party and Behgjet Pacolli of the New Kosovo Alliance, AKR, polled below the threshold of 4 per cent of votes cast, at 4.96 per cent.

The NISMA-AKR coalition’s hopes of passing the threshold now rest on uncounted postal ballots, coming mainly from Kosovo’s large diaspora.