The LDK's weekend withdrawal from the ruling coalition makes early elections even more imperative.
By Linda Karadaku for Southeast European Times in Pristina -- 18/10/10
Former Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu announced his party's withdraw from the government on Saturday (October 16th). [Reuters]
As of Monday (October 18th), Kosovo's ruling coalition is a party of one. On Saturday, former President Fatmir Sedju's Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) decided to withdraw from the coalition, leaving Prime Minister Hashim Thaci's Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) as the lone ruling party.
All LDK representatives -- from Deputy Prime Minister Hajredin Kuci to all ministers and deputy ministers -- submitted their resignations Monday morning. The party decision came a day after Acting President and PDK member Jakup Krasniqi announced February 13th as the date of the early elections.
Sejdiu said his party withdrawal "was a response to ignoring the ideas of this party by the [PDK]".
"Kosovo's former president says he does not consider this 'a time of turning [the country's institutions] upside down', but as a normal challenge to find the formula to move ahead towards the parliamentary elections," the daily Telegrafi wrote.
"Getting out of governing with Thaci, seems to be more revenge for the prime minister's abandonment during [Sejdiu's] case in the Constitutional Court," Koha Ditore Editor-in-Chief Agrom Bajrami wrote.
Thaci met with representatives of the Quint -- the US, Great Britain, France, Germany and Italy -- on Sunday, to discuss the crisis. The group suggested that it would be better for Kosovo to hold snap elections in December rather than wait until February.
International Civilian Representative in Kosovo Pieter Feith suggested on Sunday that the PDK continue ruling alone, with an agreement for parliamentary support when voting on the budget law, civil registration and PTK privatisation, Koha Ditore reported late on Sunday.
The suggestions are part of the attempts to find a way to avoid extraordinary elections, which would have to be held within 45 days, according to the constitution.
Kosovo's Central Election Commission (CEC) has said it would be difficult for it to organise elections in such a short time.
The LDK discussed the situation on Sunday, saying all its future actions and decisions "will be in full compliance with the constitution, with applicable laws and procedures set forth in parliament".
For its part, Thaci's PDK called on "all citizens of Kosovo to respond to the new political situation with maturity, unity and responsibility ... contributing to strengthening stability in the country, through active participation in future processes".
The Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) said the collapse of the government is "the natural outcome of an unnatural coalition", and urged that national elections be held in February. Other opposition parties asked for extraordinary elections.
Kosovo daily Express quoted Kuci as saying there will be no technical government and asked the CEC to prepare for fair and democratic elections.
"If a caretaker administration cannot be formed within eight days, then new elections will have to be held within 45 days," The Economist wrote.