Xhorxhina Bami, Pristina, BIRN, April 23, 2020


President Thaci on Thursday handed a mandate to form a new government to the Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, which has already chosen former Second Deputy PM Avdullah Hoti for the post of Prime Minister.

Pressing on with his plans to form a new government without holding fresh elections, Kosovo President Hashim Thaci on Thursday asked the former junior governing party, the Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, Isa Mustafa, to name a potential mandator to form a new administration.

Presidential adviser Adil Behramaj confirmed the development to BIRN, saying the mandate was given to the LDK “in order to avoid early elections, maintain the stability of the country and in accordance with the urgent [need] to give the country a new government”.

On Wednesday, after Thaci consulted with all the parliamentary parties, the majority told him they would agree to form a new coalition government to replace the administration of Albin Kurti, which was toppled in a no-confidence vote initiated by the LDK in late March. Thaci then declared that he would give the mandate to whatever “party or coalition that proves it has a majority in parliament”.

“The LDK leader, Isa Mustafa, confirmed that he had secured a sufficient majority in the assembly; President Thaci, through a letter, has asked for the name of the potential mandator for the formation of the government,” Behramaj told BIRN.

On Monday, the LDK leadership at a meeting decided that their nominee for the post of PM would be former Second Deputy Prime MInister Avdullah Hoti. “After the meeting of the presidency, [the LDK] has decided that Avdullah Hoti will be the candidate,” Mustafa said after the meeting.

Thaci handed the mandate to LDK after the largest party in parliament, Vetevendosje, failed to submit any names to the President, although it insisted that it had not refused to accept the mandate.

The law requires the mandate to be given to the party with most seats in parliament, in this case Vetevendosje. If the first party then refuses the mandate, the President can give it to the second biggest party in parliament, in this case the LDK.

On April 15, the LDK Steering Committee voted in favour of potentially forming a governing coalition with the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, AAK, led by former prime minister Ramush Haradinaj, the New Kosovo Alliance, AKR, led by former foreign minister Behgjet Pacolli, the Social Democratic Initiative, NISMA, and some ethnic minority communities.

The LDK, AAK, AKR and NISMA together have 47 of the 61 seats in the 120-seat parliament they need for a majority. Now they need either the 10 votes of the Belgrade-backed ethnic Serbian party Lista Srpska plus the 10 votes of other minority representatives – or the support of Kadri Veseli’s former ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK.

However, on Wednesday, the PDK spokesman, Avni Bytyçi, told the media outlet Telegrafi that the PDK would not support the LDK or any other party in a new government.

Outgoing Prime Minister Kurti on Thursday did not comment on developments regarding the LDK mandate, but has previously condemned what he called the “unfairness” being done to his party.

Kurti has consistently demanded fresh elections once the pandemic is over, rather than the formation of a new government form the existing parliament.

He called his government the first ever in Kosovo that was independent of both the Belgrade-backed Serbian party Lista Srpska and former ruling PDK, emphasizing that now the aim is to have another government dependent on both.

Kurti has also pledged to submit an appeal to the Constitutional Court once the official documents are in his possession regarding the new mandate.