Kosovo government on brink of collapse
The fragile coalition government of Kosovo stands on the brink of collapse amid deadlock over the selection of a new president.
The crisis erupted last week when a court ruled that the appointment of construction tycoon Behgjet Pacolli as president in late February was unconstitutional because no candidate stood against him and fewer than two-thirds of MPs took part in the selection.
Senior members of Mr Pacolli’s New Kosovo Alliance say his installation as president is a condition of the coalition agreement, arrived at after three months of talks following snap elections in December. But opposition MPs are able to block any fresh attempt to put him into the post.
Many of Mr Pacolli’s fellow countrymen are deeply resentful of his business links with Russia, which is a staunch supporter of Serbia’s opposition to Kosovo’s independence. Mr Pacolli’s Mabetex construction group secured a string of lucrative contracts with the Yeltsin administration in the early 90s.
Hashim Thaci, the prime minister, asked Mr Pacolli to step aside in favour of another member of his New Kosovo Alliance, but senior party members threatened to abandon the coalition if Mr Pacolli himself were not made president, according to Koha Ditore, the country’s biggest newspaper.
The most credible presidential candidate acceptable to the opposition might be former prime minister Agim Ceku, once supreme commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army, which fought a guerrilla war to gain independence. It is unclear what could be offered to make him acceptable to Mr Pacolli’s party.
The biggest winner of any new election seems likely to be the Self-Determination party, whose 36-year-old leader, Albin Kurti, is enjoying growing popularity for railing against the international community and the Serb minority.
- Kosovo government on brink of collapse (telegraph.co.uk)
- Beghjet Pacolli, president of Kosovo, resigns following court ruling (shortformblog.tumblr.com)
- Kosovo court orders president to step down (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Kosovo presidential poll illegal (bbc.co.uk)
- Kosovo court bars new president from office, says election violated constitution (theglobeandmail.com)
- Election of Kosovo president ruled illegal (reuters.com)
- Kosovo draft budget + IMF’s remarks + Serb passports + Anti Corruption Report + NATO bombing ++ Presheva (newskosovo.wordpress.com)
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