Opposition party Vetevendosje wins over Kosovo parliamentary elections

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times October 7, 2019 19:50

Opposition party Vetevendosje wins over Kosovo parliamentary elections

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  • Meanwhile, Vetevendosje leader Albin Kurti, announcing the victory, said he would be the country's next prime minister. The new Kosovo government will face many challenges, both internationally and domestically.

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TIRANA, Oct. 7 – High-rank Albanian leaders of state and politics praised on Monday Kosovo elections in which the main opposition parties, Vetevendosje (Self Determination Movement) and LDK (Democratic League of Kosovo), emerged victorious. 

“Yesterday’s elections in Kosovo were a great example of the functioning of democracy and of the trust in democracy and a free vote,” said President Ilir Meta, congratulating Kosovo’s citizens and political class.

On his part, Prime Minister Edi Rama spoke of “successful parliamentary elections”, wishing “Albin Kurti’s Vetevendosje for the best result and LDK and Vjosa Osmani for the second best result,” but also “PDK and Kadri Veseli for exemplary acceptance of the result. Happy new day for Kosovo,” concluded Rama’s Twitter post.

For Albanian opposition leader Lulzim Basha “Kosovo opened a new page in its journey as a democratic state. The people of Kosovo voted for change by mandating the opposition to lead the way in economic transformation and Euro-Atlantic integration.”

While congratulating the two winning parties, Vetevendosje and LDK for the victory, Basha further added that “the people of Kosovo set an inspiring example with the civic and mass participation in the elections, the Kosovo Police showed great professionalism in immediately stopping those who violated secretive free voting by photographing it. Kosovo proved to the world that it is a functioning democracy and that it deserves as soon as possible the country and its role in all international institutions and processes.”

Meanwhile, Vetevendosje leader Albin Kurti, announcing the victory, said he would be the country’s next prime minister. The new Kosovo government will face many challenges, both internationally and domestically.

US-based Balkan affairs expert Edward Joseph said the same thing concerning Kurti’s challenges to Voice of America. 

“Being in government changes people and politicians. For Albin Kurti it seemed easy to criticize

from the outside and object. It’s quite different to go to Brussels or Washington, or wait for senior officials from these two countries and listen to them. We must not forget that Kosovo is dependent on the support of the international community. KFOR takes care of Kosovo’s security, there is no army yet. Its economy depends on the EU. Therefore, Kosovo cannot afford isolation. This should be excluded,” Joseph said.

But the views of the leader of Vetevendosje, often described as harsh on the international scope and isolating for Kosovo, do not seem problematic to Janusz Bugajski, an analyst at the Center for European Policy Analysis. 

“He is determined to secure Kosovo’s firm stand in the economic, political and strategic fields. I think that’s what America wants. America loves countries that are independent, secure, and that require less engagement by US troops. So, it loves countries that can serve in the alliance. I think that Kosovo, rather than being consuming, can contribute to the NATO common security. In a way I think Kurti is the right person for this,” said Bugajski.

The most difficult challenge, and one of the priorities of the next government, is to return to the table negotiations with Belgrade. 

This is also Washington’s expectation, which has appointed two special envoys to Kosovo, US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, President Trump’s representative for talks with Serbia, and senior diplomat Matthew Palmer.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times October 7, 2019 19:50