In an exclusive interview for IBNA, professor of international law, Avni Mazrreku talks about the political and constitutional crisis in Kosovo, the legitimacy of the new parliament and the role of the Constitutional Court and president Atifete Jahjaga in this process.
IBNA: How do you assess the political and constitutional crisis in Kosovo?
Mazrreku: I don’t think the country is going through an institutional crisis due to the fact that the political agreement between the three opposition parties showed that the opposition has parliamentary majority. We’re also forgetting the political system, which is enshrined in the Constitution. The constitutional system defines Kosovo as a parliamentary republic, which means that we have a representative democracy political system. De facto and de jure, citizens of Kosovo can be represented by that political party or coalition that shows to have a majority in parliament. During the first parliamentary session, with the election of the speaker of parliament, the opposition bloc showed that it has 65 seats to form a government. I don’t see any political or constitutional crisis here.
IBNA: Democratic Party of Kosovo contested the election of the speaker of parliament, sending it to the Constitutional Court. How do you consider the role of the Constitutional Court in this aspect?
Mazrreku: At the end of the day, the role of the Constitutional Court is to find a solution to come out of the crisis and not like it has served until now by issuing unclear rulings, which cause lack of clarity in public. I believe that the Constitutional Court cannot interpret parliamentary procedures. This court interprets the laws which are issued by parliament, therefore here we have a big contradiction. I believe that it’s a matter of days before other constitutional and institutional issues are solved and Kosovo will have institutional stability which has been lacking for such a long time.
IBNA: Is the new speaker of parliament Isa Mustafa legitimate?
Mazrreku: There’s no objection, because the legitimacy of the election of Mr. Mustafa is decided by t he numbers, namely, the votes of the members of the Parliament of the Republic of Kosovo. The Constitutional Court cannot contest the will of 65 MPs elected in a free and democratic process. The Constitutional Court can interpret the Constitution, but here we’re dealing with Parliamentary Regulation. I believe that Kosovo has parliamentary mechanisms which are responsible and competent to interpret the Regulation of Parliament.
IBNA: How do you see the hesitation of president Atifete Jahjaga to nominate the prime minister of Kosovo before the Constitutional Court has its say on the issue of the speaker of parliament?
In case the first prime minister nominee, leader of PDK, Hashim Thaci doesn’t secure the necessary votes in parliament, Mrs. Jahjaga must nominate the candidate of the opposition coalition. The behavior of president Jahjaga is very irresponsible even about the fact that she didn’t congratulate Mr. Mustafa on his election as speaker of parliament. The president of the country has a constitutional obligation of managing the country and her behavior is not serious, neither in political terms, nor in legal terms.
Avni Mazrreku has attended his postgraduate studies and PHD at the University of Bremen. He has also attended post PHD studies at the University of Ljubjana in Slovenia and that of Gent in Belgium. He has lectured in several different universities in Kosovo and abroad. He has published many articles in prominent magazines in Kosovo and abroad. Prof. Mazrreku is active in the public life of Kosovo and he’s present with his analysis concerning European affairs on the media. He’s currently a rector at ISPE College in Pristina.