Two opposition parties of completely conflicting ideologies won the elections in Kosovo and now have to restart a difficult dialogue with Serbia, said the Albanian-language editor of Deutsche Welle, Vilma Filjaj-Balvora, pointing out that the time has come for “real politics” in Kosovo.
President Hashim Thaci’s Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) and Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj’s Alliance for the Future of Kosovo are two of the biggest election losers; both former KLA commanders in power since the end of the 1999 war, have not found a convincing solution to the country’s serious problems and have not made the great leap in normalizing relations with Serbia, which still does not recognize the independence of its former province.
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The disappointed voters decided to reverse the trend: the opposition party Vetëvendosje! and the Democratic Alliance of Kosovo (LDK) each received more than 25% of the votes.
The almost equal victories in terms of numbers of the left-wing nationalist movement Vetëvendosje! and the conservative-liberal party of the LDK show how divided Kosovo’s society is. While the LDK has traditionally always supported the pacifist and diplomatic course of its late leader, Ibrahim Rugova, Albin Kurti’s party Vetëvendosje! has always been against the compromise with Serbia, writes DW.
If the future government is formed by these two parties, negotiations with Belgrade will be particularly difficult. Moreover, it is difficult for Belgrade to sit at the negotiating table with Albin Kurti.
DW recalls that, in March 2000, Kurti, one of the leading figures in the student movement against Serbian politics in Kosovo in the 1990s, was sentenced to 15 years in prison in Serbia for belonging to a terrorist group and released only after the change of government in Belgrade and international pressure.
His party’s theses are radical: no to the international presence in Kosovo, yes to a policy of self-determination, no to any compromise in the dialogue with Serbia and even no to the unification of Albanian territories. It is safe to say that Kurti’s party has attracted the most disappointed voters, and the media attention at home and abroad thanks to the protests against the policy of the Pristina government, corruption and the generally unfavourable situation in Kosovo.
According to DW, Kurti has a Herculean task: not to disappoint his voters, but at the same time to face difficult compromises with the leaders of Belgrade, with the support of international mediation.
This is where the coalition with the LDK could be particularly useful. This moderate party has adapted to the spirit of the times and has Vyos Osmani, a trusted and sincere 38-year-old lawyer who could play an important role in the dialogue with Belgrade, as its leading figure.
(Novi Magazin, 07.10.2019)
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