Election of the speaker of parliament deepens the political crisis in Kosovo

Election of the speaker of parliament deepens the political crisis in Kosovo

IBNA Special Report

Pristina, July 3, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Elton Tota

The verdict of the Constitutional Court about the prime minister nominee has not resolved the political crisis in Kosovo. The problem which has emerged now relates to the party which has the right to elect the speaker of parliament.

This issue may be sent to the Constitutional Court by PDK, the party which won the majority of votes in the June 8 elections, as opposition parties, who have signed an agreement to form a government, are also claiming this post.

Based on the Constitution and regulation of parliament, it’s up to the largest parliamentary group to propose its candidate for the speaker of parliament.

Vice chairman of PDK, Arsim Bajrami says that he’s convinced that this is the right of the political party that won most of the votes in the elections. But, experts of parliamentary issues do not share the same opinion.

“The speaker of parliament is elected by the parliamentary group that has won the majority of seats in parliament based on the result of the elections and with the majority of votes in parliament. This is my professional opinion”, says Arsim Bajrami.

He declares that he bases his assessment in the highest legal acts of the country and the practices followed so far. “I base my assessment on the constitutional provisions and principles, regulation of parliament of Kosovo, law on general elections, electoral system in Kosovo, the parliamentary practice applied so far in the parliament of Kosovo about the election of the speaker of parliament and so on. But, I believe that the ruling of Constitutional Court can indirectly help in clarifying this issue”, says Bajrami, who has been one of the drafters of the Constitution of Kosovo.

On the other hand, professor of constitutional law, Fatos Rushiti, told IBNA that the post of the speaker of parliament belongs to the opposition coalition, as they have the numbers to vote him.

“Opposition parties in Kosovo have joined to form a parliamentary group and have the necessary numbers to vote the new speaker of parliament. Democratic Party of Kosovo will not be able to do this, as it’s lacking votes”, says Rushiti.

According to him, this issue can be solved through political will, by putting personal antagonism aside.

“If the political class has the will to elect the speaker of parliament, it will elect him. If not, we will have a gridlock. Thus, Kosovo enters a gridlock since the phase when parliament is to be constituted. But it would be best to have political will and not act based on antagonism. Whoever has the necessary numbers of parliament, must create the institutions. A principle must take shape, according to which, whoever has the necessary votes, can elect the speaker”, declared Rushiti.

Meanwhile, Driton Selmanaj from the Kosovo Democratic Institute (KDI), who has monitored the work of parliament, says that he doesn’t have any dilemmas on this issue.

“If there was a dilemma  about the prime minister nominee, I believe that this issue has been clarified now. Constitution and regulation say that the largest parliamentary group in parliament proposes the speaker and he’s elected with the majority of votes”, says Selmanaj.

According to him, the largest parliamentary is appointed several days before the first parliamentary session.

“A few days before the first parliamentary session, the former speaker invites leaders of political parties who have won the elections, to prepare the order of the day.

While drafting the order of the day, one of the issues relates to the biggest parliamentary group and the way that they will be seated. Thus, a few days before the first session, the biggest parliamentary group is decided and during the first session, parliament verifies the mandates, MPs take their oath and the speaker of parliament is elected, after the biggest parliamentary group proposes its candidate”, says Selmanaj.

Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo, article 67, section 2, says: The speaker of parliament is proposed by the biggest parliamentary group and is elected by majority of votes in parliament. /ibna/