Kosovo Fears Limited Timeline to Stage Elections

Members of the Kosovo Central Election Commission, CEC, are concerned they will have only a limited time to prepare for early general elections if they are held next month.

“If June 8 is set as the date, the CEC will have only about 30 days, which will be quite challenging,” Florian Dushi, a CEC member, told BIRN.

He was referring to the proposal by Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, who last week urged President Atifete Jahjaga to consider June 8 as a date for parliamentary elections.

Parliament is expected to dissolve once MPs have voted on some crucial issues: the transformation of the Kosovo Security Forces into the Kosovo Armed Forces; the issue of reserved seats for minorities in parliament, and new legislation on elections.

By law, new elections must be held 30 to 45 days after parliament is dissolved, while the President has to set the date for elections not more than 10 days after a confidence motion is approved on the government.

“We will take all necessary measures to prepare elections as well as possible in order to have regular and correct elections, which will produce institutions whose legitimacy won’t be questioned, as has happened before,” Dushi said.

Thaci’s Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK, came top in the last national elections held in 2010, winning some 32 per cent of the vote and 33 of the 120 seats in parliament.

It has since maintained a slim governing coalition with the New Kosovo Alliance, AKR, the party of construction tycoon Behgjet Pacolli, and some smaller minority parties.

But, with growing dissension within PDK ranks, Thaci has had an increasingly tough time getting key votes past, including a vote on the sale of the post and telecoms company, PTK.

Thaci is also...

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