Kosovo. In July, the country’s Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj resigned after being called to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to be questioned about his role as regional commander in the Kosovo Liberation Army (the guerrilla group UCK), which fought for independence from Serbia in 1998-99. Haradinaj is suspected of a number of war crimes. At the end of August, Parliament was dissolved after a vote, after which President Hashim Thaçi decided to hold a new election on October 6.
In the recent parliamentary elections, the two self-governing parties (Vetëvendosje) and Kosovo’s Democratic Alliance (LDK) were the largest, with 26 and 25% of the votes respectively. The ruling Kosovo Democratic Party (PDK) gained 21% and the coalition partner Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK), which is the resignation of Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj’s party, received only 10% of the vote. The turnout was low, only 44%. Later, the party leader of Self-Determined Albin Kurti was appointed acting prime minister. Even before the election, conservative LDK, with party leader Isa Mustafa, and the leftist Nationalist Party had discussed the possibilities of taking over government power together, something that towards the end of the year seemed possible.
Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj announced at the end of March that all kinds of games of money would be banned for ten years. The reason is that two casino employees were murdered in a short time. Kosovo is one of Europe’s poorest countries with 30% unemployment – one of the reasons why gambling and gambling have become so popular.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG: Click to see the meanings of 3-letter acronym and abbreviation of RKS in general and in geography as Kosovo in particular.
President Thaҫi resigns
President Hashim Thaҫi resigns with reference to the fact that he will be brought to justice for war crimes by the EU-supported Kosovo Tribunal (KSC) in The Hague (see also 24 June 2020). The Vice-President of Parliament will be Vjosa Osmani. The day before, veteran politician Jakup Krasniqi was arrested by EU police at his home. Krasniqi, a former spokesman for the Kosovo Albanian UEC guerrillas, was taken directly to The Hague. He too is accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity during the war in Kosovo 1998-1999. Parliament now has six months to appoint a successor to Thaҫi, but as the parties are expected to find it difficult to agree, new elections are likely to be held next year.
Suspected war criminals arrested by tribunal
The EU-supported tribunal KSC (Kosovo Specialist Chambers), which deals with suspected war crimesin Kosovo in the 1990s, announces that it has carried out its first arrest. The detainee, Salih Mustafa, is a former commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (UҪK) and is suspected of, among other things, the murder and torture of prisoners in a detention camp in 1999. The court later announced that another person had been arrested and sent to The Hague. This is Hysni Gucati, leader of the UҪK’s veterans ‘organization, who is suspected of having made the court’s work more difficult by handling classified information about the witnesses’ identities. The arrests are said to have been carried out with the help of the EU organization Eulex, which has been supporting the Kosovo judiciary since 2008. The KSC tribunal and the associated prosecutor’s office SPO were established in 2015. They work under Kosovo law but are located in The Hague in the Netherlands to be able to offer witnesses greater protection, among other things.24 June 2020). Information on whether the prosecution will lead to a trial is expected in the autumn.
Summit with Serbia in the USA
An American-led summit in Washington between Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić ends with a promise of softened relations. The parties sign a document that US President Donald Trump calls “a historic agreement”. Most outside assessors are more cautious and describe it as a statement of intent. The document contains, among other things, measures to facilitate border crossings between the two countries and ambitions to share water and energy resources. The meeting also results in Kosovo promising to recognize the state of Israel, in return for Israel recognizing Kosovo.
The Prime Minister tests positive for covid-19
Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti announces via social media that he has tested positive for covid-19. He describes his symptoms as mild and writes that he will isolate himself for two weeks. At the same time, the authorities report that the number of infected people in the country is increasing and that a second wave of covid-19 is expected in the coming weeks. To date, about 9,000 cases of infection and 249 deaths have been reported in Kosovo during the corona pandemic.