Kosovo Opposition Urges PM to Quit Over Visa Liberalisation

The parliamentary group of the biggest Kosovo opposition party, the Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK on Tuesday demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj and his deputy, Fatmir Limaj, after a statement from European Commissioner Johannes Hahn that visa liberalisation with the EU is more likely to come by 2020 than the hoped-for end of 2018.

"The LDK demands that the [Kosovo] Assembly gather for an extraordinary session to discuss this issue while demanding the resignation of the executive," the party said in a statement issued.

"The current prime minister and his deputy Limaj have hindered, with violence and intrigue, the fulfilment of the criteria for visa liberalisation," it added.

The statement was a reference to the time when both Haradinaj and Limaj were in opposition and strongly opposed the ratification of border demarcation with Montenegro, one of the EU's main criteria for visa liberalisation. During that period, members of Haradinaj's party repeatedly set off tear gas in parliament to disrupt votes on demarcation.

Albin Kurti, the leader of another opposition party, Vetevendosje, also asked for the resignation of parliament speaker Kadri Veseli and Minister for European Integration Dhurata Hoxha.

"Earlier dates for [visa] liberalisation during 2018 were only given by Ramush Haradinaj, Kadri Veseli and Dhurata Hoxha. The three of them should resign," Kurti wrote on Facebook.

Referring to the fact that Haradinaj ultimately voted for the demarcation agreement with Montenegro and justified his action by stating that Kosovo would have visa liberalisation by 2018, Kurti wrote that "this ruling coalition owes our country 8,200 hectares that were given to Montenegro [as part of the border demarcation]".

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