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Kosovo after Elections: Power Rotation or Paradigm Shift?

Kosovo after Elections: Power Rotation or Paradigm Shift?

In 2020, Kosovo went through a series of political and institutional crises, with three prime ministers appointed in just one year. War crime indictments against former President Hashim Thaçi and other key politicians prominent during the 1998-99 Kosovo war forced their resignation from public office as they await trial in The Hague.

 

 
On 14 February 2021, extraordinary parliamentary elections brought Lëvizja Vetëvendosje (Self-Determination Movement) to power in a landslide victory. For the first time in Kosovo’s history, one political party, a party in opposition throughout most of its existence, will be able to form a government with the support of national minority parties, as required by the constitution.

 

 
While the election was generally deemed free and fair, significant irregularities were reported in Serb-populated areas. Most of the 10 guaranteed parliamentary seats for Kosovo Serbs were won by Srpska Lista, which has direct ties to Serbian president, Aleksandar Vučić. Cooperation between Albanian and Serb MPs remains extremely variable and prone to ad-hoc political games led by both Pristina and Belgrade.
Vetëvendosje and its leader Albin Kurti campaigned on an anti-corruption ticket and are expected to tackle important issues such as: depoliticisation, state capture, low quality of education, economic stagnation, and unemployment. Kosovo will also have to respond to international pressures to conclude the negotiation process with Serbia; to date this has not been a priority for the incoming Prime Minister Kurti.
The election has demonstrated significant socio-political changes within Kosovo – while some local commentators see this as a shift of the political paradigm, others warn about a further accumulation of power.

 

 

In this live-streamed webinar, an expert panel discussed democracy in Kosovo with a specific focus on the effects of the election.

Watch here: https://bit.ly/2OB2PKT

 

 The panel included:

– Vlora Çitaku, former Ambassador of Kosovo to the United States.

– Lavdim Hamidi, Editor-in-Chief, Front Online, Pristina.

– Jovana Radosavljević, Director, New Social Initiative, Mitrovica.

– Visar Ymeri, Director, Musine Kokolari Institute, former Chairman of Vetëvendosje, Pristina.

The discussion was moderated by Valerie Hopkins, Balkans Correspondent for the Financial Times.

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