Kosovo opposition sets ultimatum for resignation government

Thu 18 Feb 2016

Kosovo opposition sets ultimatum for resignation government

On 17 February the opposition held their biggest anti-governmental rally yet during the eight anniversary of Kosovo independence. They demand the government to resign and hold snap elections before 27 February otherwise they will go on with “unstoppable protests”.

Accord

The anger of the people began when the government signed an EU-brokered accord with Serbia in August. The opposition parties rejected the accord that, among others, creates an Association of Serb Municipalities with broad powers. The opposition sees this as an creation of a new Republika Srpska (RS), a Serb entity in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Protesters in front of the government carried banners with “We don’t want Serbia in Kosovo”. In December, the Constitutional Court of Kosovo decided that part of this accord was not in line with the spirit of the constitution. The opposition also rejects the border demarcation deal with Montenegro. They have attempted to disrupt the work of parliament with tear gas, pepper spray and whistles. The government accuses the opposition of trying to come to power through violence.

Ongoing protests
Visar Ymeri, leader of the main opposition Self-Determination Movement (Vetevendosje) set a 10 days deadline for the government to resign and declare a new election, or he said: "our protests will not stop." On Friday will be the next parliamentary session where the party leaders said their representatives would disrupt the session. They have previously threatened to go on with organising protests until the government, elected in December 2014, resigns. Formally the elections in Kosovo are planned for June 2018. In vain Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga tried to launch individual meetings with party leaders to solve the country's political deadlock. Vetevendosje did not accept the invitation.

Sources: BalkanInsight, B92, Reuters, RFE/RL, EurActiv
Photo by: Andrew Halterman