Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Kosovo govt on verge of shutdown amid COVID-19 spread


tiamin rice

A no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Albin Kurti’s government was on Wednesday called in Kosovo, as bickering continues among the country’s three top leaders despite the coronavirus crisis.

The motion was launched by Kurti’s junior coalition partners, Isa Mustafa’s center-left Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK.

Kurti, the leader of the nationalist Vetevendosje (VV) Party, took over just some weeks ago.

It took him and Mustafa four months after October’s elections to forge the coalition.

Their relations had been poor from the start and the coronavirus outbreak had worsened the fragile relationship.

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An apparently irreparable rift appeared a week ago when Kurti rejected President Hashim Thaci’s proposal for a state of emergency due to the epidemic.

Thaci’s Democratic Party (PDK), is the third strongest in the parliament.

The decision was publicly criticised by his Interior Minister, Agim Veliu, a prominent figure in the LDK.

Kurti immediately sacked Veliu.

However, Mustafa reacted with the no-confidence motion.

The wrangling continued even as the number of coronavirus patients steadily rose, there were 63 as of Tuesday, with one confirmed death.

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On Tuesday, Thaci asked the Constitutional Court to knock down government lockdown measures imposed because of the epidemic.

He accused Kurti of unlawfully restricting freedom of movement and sowing panic, which closely reflects what Kurti said when Thaci proposed the state of emergency.

However, his PDK backed the LDK initiative for the no-confidence vote.

It is unclear what will happen if Kurti falls, as he and Mustafa had ruled out a partnership with Thaci and elections are impossible during the epidemic.

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