Interview for IBNA given by the leader of Self Determination Movement, Albin Kurti
In an exclusive interview given for IBNA, leader of Self Determination Movement, Albin Kurti, talks about the new developments in Kosovo, the process of negotiations between Pristina and Belgrade in Brussels, the future reconciliation of people in the Balkan, the risk of Kosovo becoming like Bosnia, the upcoming parliamentary elections, Kosovo’s journey to Euro-Atlantic integrations and lustration process.
Pristina, March 1, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency
Interviewed by Elton Tota
IBNA: How do you consider the talks between Kosovo and Serbia being conducted by prime minister Thaci and his Serb counterpart, Ivica Dacic?
Albin Kurti: Talks between Kosovo and Serbia have been in Serbia’s interest in two aspects. Through the participation of Kosovo in the negotiations, Serbia has gained the aura of the good constructive neighbor, thus being granted the EU candidate status and the date for the launch of negotiations for EU accession. Meanwhile, the agreements produced by these negotiations have formalized Serbia within Kosovo. If Ahtisaari’s Plan introduced the separatist essence through the drawing of the territory with ethnic lines, this process has taken the same direction and has been shaped into an autonomous entity through the April 19, 2013 agreement for the formation of the Association of Serb Communes. If with the Ahtisaari Plan we had ethnic Serb communes with extended powers, with the April 19 agreement, we have an association which cannot be undone by none of the state institutions; with the Ahtisaari Plan we have a police commander who is elected by Serb communes, after the April 19 agreement northern communes have also elected the regional commander; with Ahtisaari Plan we have an ethnically divided first instance courts, the recent agreement has also divided the appellate level on an ethnic basis.
IBNA: Can reconciliation between Balkan people take place in the future, being also a request from Brussels for good neighboring relations in the region?
Albin Kurti: The opinion that we have about the nature and cause of conflict in the Balkan is a starting point and method of treatment for it. The ideological treatment of nowadays over conflicts in the Balkan has two basic problems: the first one relates to the discourse coming from the “elevated” western culture on the Balkan people, who are considered to be ill tempered and primitive, similar to the orientalist concept existing in the past. The second one, but not less problematic, is the supposition that the conflicts in the Balkan are a result of the lack of tolerance between people of different cultures. Here we may recall hundreds of projects and conferences entitled “cross ethnic relations”. Both these are nothing else but pretexts to give life to the anti democratic role of international factors. In fact, wars in the Balkan are a result of invasions and inequality between people of the former Yugoslavia or between homogenist Serbian aspirations and liberating wars of the people. When peace agreements lack justice and universality, they are nothing else but a reflection of the momentary ratio of forces, of the current possibilities of the sides to exert violence. It’s impossible to go from an order of violence to an order of peace and justice without the principle of equality. We will have permanent peace in the Balkan when we have equality between the people. Here at Self Determination Movement, we commit for peace and reconciliation between Balkan people. This cannot be done without being committed to the right for self determination.
IBNA: You say that Thaci’s government is putting the state of Kosovo at risk. You have warned the danger of Kosovo becoming like Bosnia, the deepening of poverty and the harsh neo liberal privatization. How will you stop this governance and these projects which according to you are damaging the new state?
Albin Kurti: The criticism of Self Determination about the problems that Kosovo is facing has been and remains a necessary condition for the Political Program and Governing Alternative of our Movement, but also for the definition of political methods which we will use during our political action. The depth of denying criticism and abstractionism have enabled the cleansing of ideological linguistic terrain, the possibility to see the entirety of the problem with all its structural ties, in order to come to an affirmation. Another thing: The Political Program and Governing Alternative of Self Determination! The methods and means used during a political war are linked with the explanation for the nature of the problem and the specification of the place of action, by not insisting on the absolute peculiarity which would relativize the problems which may be global.
In this aspect, we’re convinced that the victory of Self Determination cannot be a simple power rotation, which is usually an alternation out of inertia. This is why we have never stopped rallies with people, protests, but also the different legal incentives in the Parliament of Kosovo.
IBNA: Is Kosovo soon expected to hold fresh parliamentary elections? Do you thing that you will achieve your objective of taking power in order to prevent, like you say, the wrong policies of the government?
Albin Kurti: As far as we’re concerned, the fresh parliamentary elections should have been held a while ago. Self Determination calls upon two parliamentary subjects which have not part of the coalition since 2011, to sign the non confidence motion against the government. We continue to consolidate our ranks, regardless of when the elections are held. We refuse to undergo the pressure of the dynamic of the emergency situation that comes from the insinuations made by Hashim Thaci to save himself. From experiences of the agreements between Thaci, Pacolli and Mustafa we know that the so called institutional crisis or consensus for national interests, are nothing else but a way for Hashim Thaci to cover his unscrupulous fight to remain in power. His agreement with Pacolli and Mustafa has not met any of the objectives proclaimed at that time. The agreement neither restricted the mandate of the current coalition, like LDK used to say, nor the president was elected by the people, like AKR insisted. It didn’t even finalize the electoral reform. In fact, it has met its real objective: to rescue Hashim Thaci from the procedural trap, in order to continue with the negotiations and privatizations. Even LDK and AAK, if they really want to fight Hashim Thaci,they must learn from their mistakes. Hashim Thaci cannot be fought by playing his game.
IBNA: In case the people votes you, will you take the responsibility as a prime minister to take the country out of the current situation?
Albin Kurti: I don’t think that we must allow ourselves to focus on the figure of the power individual. In fact, this type of populism is always an indicator of the lack of program and conceptual orientation. When we have nothing to say about political principles, then we talk about the quality of the leader, about his heroism, about his modesty, generosity and austerity. Focusing on the powerful individual and the cult aims to spark the emotions of the crowds. In another place, at another time, this can be seen as a prelude to fascism. I don’t want people to believe in me, without believing in themselves. Kosovo cannot be rescued from this situation by the individual, but by the people, the citizens.
IBNA: How do you comment the latest situation at the University of Pristina, protests and the departure of the rector of UP, Ibrahim Gashi, who is accused of publishing scientific works in fake journals…
Albin Kurti: It’s been a while that corruptive interests of the people in power dominate the University of Pristina. This domination is not restricted to the possibility of the government to appoint people at the head of the university. The influence of the government on the university is systematic and ideological. Starting by formal and informal influences of the people in power, to continue with exchanges of favors and clans formed within it. The university has served as a place where by obtaining scientific titles, one can gain the “power of knowledge” to then be part of the government. We must not forget financial abuses, unlawful deals to benefit properties, etc. We also have the low criteria and lack of commitment. All of this doesn’t allow the University of Pristina to produce good technicians. We’re seeing emancipating movements within the University, but apart from fighting for their rights, they must also make efforts to free the language from the dominating ideology which aims t reproduce oppressive relations. Politics must also be separated from the management and administration of the university.
IBNA: Can the Bosnian scenario of protests and unrest take place in Kosovo?
Albin Kurti: I cannot predict and it’s difficult to predict the moments of the subjectivism of people. These moments emerge as a result of the accumulated discontent for a long time, which is released at a particular moment when quantity turns into quality. But what we know for sure are the parallels that can be drawn about the nature of problems in Bosnia and Kosovo, starting from the domestic territorial division, Serb chauvinism, international rule, harsh neoliberal privatizations, extreme poverty, unemployment, etc.
IBNA: How are things going at the municipality of Pristina where your representative is mayor? Will you meet the promises that you made during the electoral campaign?
Albin Kurti: The promises of the electoral campaign for the Commune of Pristina are contracts of Shpend Ahmeti with the citizens. They will be fulfilled one after the other, according to the deadlines that were set. The mayor of Pristina is working in order to meet each of the promises that have been made.
IBNA: How do you consider the debate opened in Skopje on lustration? Do you think that Kosovo must soon face the lustration process?
Albin Kurti: The lustration process and the confrontation with the past of the totalitarian invading past is a necessary process for the societies which have gone through such periods. By going through this process and by confronting it, we can resolve this problem. But this must be done by taking into account the fact that lustration is a process which must be done for the spiritual cleansing of the entire society and not an instrument of blackmail and pressure. /ibna/