Weak performance of Kosovo MPs

Weak performance of Kosovo MPs

Pristina, March 19, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Elton Tota

Those who monitor parliament of Kosovo and political analysts say that the current legislature is the weakest one that Kosovo has ever had since the end of the war.

According to them, the majority part of MPs don’t have the basic knowledge to understand, read or interpret a law. Meanwhile, there are also some of them who are yet to hold a speech on the podium.

Driton Selmanaj from the Democratic Institute of Kosovo says that the legislature that is ending was formed after the 2010 elections, where there were electoral frauds. He says that during these years, parliament has only done a few valuable things and he identifies several problems.

“It can be definitely considered as one of the weakest legislatures that Kosovo has ever had, especially after the constitution of democratic institution. In the majority of cases, MPs haven’t even read the laws or documents that arrive in parliament. The instruments to control the government have been seldom used by MPs. In several cases, 5 minutes after they’ve voted, MPs have regretted it”, says Selmanaj.

Analyst Ardian Arifaj also says that this legislature has been one of the weakest ones, which has not fulfilled constitutional obligations. He says that parliament has failed in meeting its mission to be seen as part of the political maturity of the political class in Kosovo.

“As a society, we are not yet used to understand that in a parliamentary republic, parliament is the strongest institution of the state. Therefore, we often see hesitation from MPs in carrying out their tasks and responsibilities”.

Arifaj too criticizes the lack of monitoring toward the government.

“Every year, the EU progress report has stressed the fact that Parliament is failing to meet its obligations in monitoring the government. In many cases, the government has been able to dictate the work of parliament, at a time when the opposite should have taken place”, says Arifaj.

Organization for Regional Cooperation and European Integration (ORCEI) says that MPs are under the influence of the party leaders. According to this organization, in the majority of cases, MPs do not vote based on their convictions.

“They are just a voting machinery and they vote based on the orders taken by the heads of their parties. Their scope is to receive a salary and they put the national and general interest on the side”, says ORCEI. According to him, this has significantly reduced the number of voters in the elections.

MPs benefits

MPs have many privileges. They are entitled to be absent in parliament for up to 6 months. Besides the monthly salary, MPs also benefit financial bonuses for official visits in the country and abroad, transport costs, use of personal car and expenses in case move homes.

They also benefit extra payments due to an intensive life away from the family (70% of the average wage of a public servant). MPs are also offered other privileges when they retire, etc. /ibna/