Kosovo Political Crisis Deepens as Govt Given Ultimatum
Isa Mustafa, leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo, at the Kosovo Assembly in May 2017. Photo: EPA-EFE/ Valdrin Xhemaj
Isa Mustafa, the leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, the junior party in Kosovo's governing coalition, told Prime Minister Albin Kurti on Friday that he must revoke the sacking of Interior Minister Agim Veliu, an LDK, politician, and apologise or face the collapse of the ruling alliance.
Mustafa, who initiated procedures for a vote of no confidence in Kurti's administration on Thursday, said that if the premier did not comply, the LDK could no longer be part of the governing coalition.
"If this [situation] continues, then after we overcome the emergent coronavirus situation, we as the LDK will have to get out of the coalition," Mustafa wrote on Facebook.
He also said that Kurti must immediately remove Kosovo's 100 per cent tariff on imports from Serbia, in line with what the US has demanded.
"I expect Mr. Kurti to remove this tariff today and cancel the decision to dismiss Mr. Veliu. He has to apologise to him and to the LDK for his actions," Mustafa said in the letter sent to Kuri on March 16 but publsihed on his Facebook account on Friday.
Kurti, from the main ruling Vetevendosje party, sacked Interior Minister Veliu on Wednesday amid a disagreement over how to tackle the coronavirus crisis.
Kurti said that Veliu was dismissed because he had undermined the government by publicly supporting the idea of declaring a state of emergency, and because he had spread panic about the coronavirus epidemic.
The idea of imposing a state of emergency was proposed by Kurti's political rival, President Hashim Thaci. If a state of emergency is declared, the government's power shifts to Kosovo's...