Challenges of the application of the Constitution in the whole of Kosovo

Challenges of the application of the Constitution in the whole of Kosovo

IBNA Special Report/ On the 6th anniversary of the approval of the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo, constitutional experts and citizens say that there are still problems in its application. IBNA hears the opinions of different citizens, former president of Kosovo, one of the joint drafters of the Constitution, Fatmir Sejdiu, speaker of parliament, Jakup Krasniqi, professors of constitutional law, Fatos Rushiti, Arsim Bajrami and Fisnik Korenica from the Group for Legal and Political Studies

Pristina, April 9, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Elton Tota

Kosovo marks today the 6th anniversary of the approval of its Constitution. The Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo was ratified on April 9, 2008 and it’s the most important legal document which guarantees the basic rights and freedoms of all the citizens of the country.

Citizens, but also constitutional experts, say that there are still problems in the application of the most important act of the state.

According to them, institutions are yet to build a fair relation with the most important legal act in the country. They say that the effect is everywhere and it causes problems in their daily life, their efforts for survival and integration.

Xhemal Mehmeti, a citizen from Pristina says for IBNA that Constitution of Kosovo is not being applied throughout the entire territory of the country. He’s concerned over the failure to apply it in the north of Kosovo. “The laws and bylaws of the Constitution are not being complied with and this is worrying”, says he.

Ahmet Hyseni, a pensioner in Pristina says that Kosovo has problems with the application of laws. “Nobody is happy with the state. The truth is that the citizens have waited too much after the war”.

Meanwhile, Bashmir Shala from Prizren, who works in farming, says that he’s not happy with the budget allocated for farmers and agriculture.

Professor of constitutional law, Fatos Rushiti told IBNA that the Constitution is not being applied in many domains. As far as the territory is concerned, he has accentuated the north of Kosovo, where he said that there’s little progress in the application of Constitution.

“There’s little progress in the north. In that part of Kosovo, the functioning of the law and order is weaker”, says Rushiti.

He says that Kosovo cannot yet be proud about the application of the Constitution, although according to him, there are significant improvements.

Professor of constitutional law, Arsim Bajrami, who has been one of the drafters of the Constitution, says that in spite of the numerous challenges, Constitution of Kosovo has managed to fulfill its historic mission, that of the consolidation of the state.

“I believe that the Constitution of Kosovo has fulfilled its historical mission, that of the consolidation of the state, although in the past 6 years, it has faced challenges, such as constitutional crises, rulings of the Constitutional Court, international oversight and many other problems which are typical in a country in transition”, says Bajrami.

Meanwhile, former president of Kosovo and one of the joint drafters of the most important legal act, Fatmir Sejdiu says that the approval of the Constitution is one of the most important events of the constitutional development of the country.

According to Sejdiu, there are many developments which have been made in full compliance with the Constitution of the Republic and as such, they have had impacts in the democratic functioning of the country.

Fisnik Korenica from the Group for Legal and Political Studies, believes that there’s been a gradual increase in the respect shown toward the Constitution by state institutions in the past 5 years. Nevertheless, according to him, citizens of Kosovo are still being deprived by politics from several rights and liberties, but also from democratic standards guaranteed by the Constitution.

Korenica says that there’s a need for a transformation of the logic used to build policies in the recent years in order for legal guarantees to dominate over political stances of the political elite.

“I believe that MPs must play a more positive role in this aspect, because they haven’t always played the role of controlling the government as far as the application of constitutional democratic standards is concerned. This role should have been existent and productive in the application of the most substantial segments of the Constitution. I believe that the constitution of the country continues to be just a piece of paper in the north of Kosovo, where public life doesn’t reflect the constitutional sovereignty of the state. For as long as the application of the Constitution is selective, I believe that there will be a lot to do, at a time when the process of the institutional consolidation in the north of the country is not even half way there”, says Korenica.

Speaker of the parliament of Kosovo and chairman of the National Committee of the Incentive for Kosovo, Jakup Krasniqii says that prime minister Hashim Thaci doesn’t know anything about the law, given that he has forgotten the Constitution.

“Surely he has even forgotten what democracy is”, says Krasniqi.

Constitution of Kosovo was ratified on April 9, 2009 and came into effect on June 15, 2008. The Constitution is the most important legal act, which guarantees the basic rights and freedoms of the citizens of the country.

Nevertheless, its application remains a challenge in the north of the country, where the majority of population is Serb. Meanwhile, the youngest state in Europe still has a lot to do in order to fully guarantee the rights of all citizens of the country and true democracy, which is the aim of the Constitution. /ibna/