Pristina's mayor: open to change


Isa Mustafa, mayor of the Kosovo capital, talks to SETimes about the Democratic League of Kosovo and what the party should do now.

By Linda Karadaku for Southeast European Times in Pristina -- 28/10/10


Pristina Mayor Isa Mustafa. [Linda Karadaku/SETimes]

Since exiting the government, the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) has been undergoing changes and seeing some interparty sparring. Before snap elections are held in the country, the party will vote in its own chairman.

Though he has yet to formally enter the race for the top party post, Pristina Mayor Isa Mustafa has been garnering support. In this exclusive interview with SETimes correspondent Linda Karadaku, Mustafa discusses his possible candidacy and the LDK's well being.

SETimes: Will you announce your candidacy for LDK chairman?

Isa Mustafa: I think that it would be good to have the candidacies for the LDK chairman chosen on the basis of an internal agreement.

Obviously it would be in my interest, Sejdiu's interest and the interests all those who claim to want to become LDK chairman, to listen to the will of the membership of the LDK.

I have not had any conversation with those that have emerged to support my candidacy and request Sejdiu's resignation. I have no connection with public shows of support.

SETimes: What do you think about the LDK leaving the ruling coalition?

Mustafa: I think the time was not right. The right time was earlier, when the PDK took the unilateral decision to break the coalition, or at the time of very big affairs when EULEX intervened.

I [don't know] why, after the election date was set, the coalition break-up was announced.

I have not been part of this decision; I am not a member of the presidency. I had no information. I do not have any explanation, even from those who participated.

SETimes: Was the coalition between the LDK and the PDK functional?

Mustafa: It was not functional at all. It was functional only in the first phase of the declaration of independence and the adoption of symbols of Kosovo, but it did not work later.

SETimes: What is your opinion about the national elections? When should they be held?

Mustafa: I would suggest keeping them on February 13th. I think this [can be agreed upon by the government and the opposition].

An agreement should also be reached on processing some laws in the interim -- the law on the budget, PTK privatisation, the law on elections and some laws deriving from the Ahtisaari package. I think that agreement can be reached.

SETimes: What kind of a future Kosovo government do you expect?

Mustafa: We will have a government that is totally unstable, which will have a short mandate, because we are doing it through early elections.

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SETimes: If you run for party chairman and win, what would you change in the party?

Mustafa: I think the LDK should be much more open to new comings in the party, to young people, the young generation that seems missing from the party.

It should be much more open to new initiatives and ideas -- [losing the] mindset that the LDK should be guided only by those who have experience. It should be done to provide the party with a sufficient basis of staff and knowledge to govern Kosovo in a different way.

It's not about a new discovery in the sense of the government, but in the sense of implementation of rule of law, fighting corruption and coming out with economic programmes to combat poverty and unemployment.

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