Government coalition in Kosovo

Tue 23 Nov 2004

In the week of 15-21 November a new government coalition was formed in Kosovo by the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) and the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK). According to the agreement between the two parties, the post of president of Kosovo will be retained by the incumbent, Ibrahim Rugova, who is also leader of the LDK, while the post of prime minister will go to the head of the AAK, Ramush Haradinaj. Haradinaj was a commander of the rebel Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) during the insurgency against Serbian forces in 1998 and 1999.

Under the coalition agreement, six ministries will go to the LDK and four will be filled by the AAK. Should the Kosovar Serbs decide to end their boycott of the province's institutions, they will get two ministries, while another ministry is reserved for a member of a non-Serbian minority.

The coalition was formed without major difficulty. It came almost a month after Kosovo's second parliamentary elections since 1999, in which the LDK got 47 and the AAK nine seats. The second-largest political party, the Democratic Party of Kosovo (DPK), got 30 and the Citizens' List Ora seven seats in the new assembly; both will now be in the opposition.

But the new coalition failed to win the approval of the international community, for a fairly obvious reason: Prime Minister-designate Haradinaj has just been questioned by prosecutors from the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague.

While both sides have been tight-lipped about the content of the interview, it seems clear that Haradinaj is the subject of serious war crimes suspicions. And it is entirely possible that the new prime minister could be indicted by the ICTY.

Source: Transitions Online