Kosovo’s PDK, AAK and Nisma form coalition ahead of June election

By bne IntelliNews May 17, 2017

The Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) and Initiative for Kosovo (Nisma) have agreed to form a coalition ahead of the early general elections scheduled for June 11.

The three parties are in a strong position to win the upcoming election based on their performance in previous elections. 

In the outgoing 120-seat parliament, PDK was the largest party with 36 lawmakers, whereas the smaller AAK and Nisma have eight and six respectively. Both AAK and Nisma were in opposition.

Their main rivals will be the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), until recently the PDK’s coalition partner, and its new partner the New Kosovo Alliance chaired by prominent businessman Behgjet Pacolli. The largest opposition party Vetevendosje (Self-Determination) will run on its own. The LDK has 33 MPs and Vetevendosje has 16 lawmakers.

PDK, AAK and Nisma signed a pre-electoral coalition and filed the request to the Central Election Commission (CEC) only minutes before the expiration of the registration deadline, Gazeta Express reported. The paper quoted a source saying that the three parties reached their agreement immediately before the deadline. Earlier on May 16, the PDK signed coalitions with other smaller parties.

According to media reports, the three parties have proposed AAK leader Ramush Haradinaj as their candidate for a future prime minister.

All three parties are headed by former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) leaders, which is likely an important factor in their decision to run together. This year, a new war crimes court - Hague-based Kosovo Specialist Chambers - is expected to launch judicial activities to try former KLA fighters.

"I am convinced that early elections are aimed at the creation of an 'UÇK [KLA] government', an operation supported by the international community as well,” an analysis by think tank OBC Transeuropa quoted independent analyst Shkëlzen Gashi on May 16. 

“Such a government – which could be joined by PDK, AAK, and Nisma (whose leaders were the heads of the armed guerrillas) – is seen as the only one able to guarantee stability after the names of those indicted for war crimes are announced.” Gashi hence predicts, "LDK and Vetevendosje are destined to remain in the opposition".

On May 10, Prime Minister Isa Mustafa’s government lost a no-confidence motion when MPs from the PDK sided with the opposition to vote in favour of the motion. The LDK is reportedly planning to put Finance Minister Avdullah Hoti forward as its candidate for prime minister ahead of the election. 

 

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