The New Government of Kosovo

The government of Albin Kurti will have two Deputy Prime Ministers, 15 ministers and 33 deputy ministers.

During the discussions in the Parliament Kurti was criticized by the opposition due to his promise that his government would have only 12 ministries, but instead 15 were established and for his earlier criticisms of the flag and the anthem.

Just before the new government was voted on by the 76 MPs that were present, the Democratic Party of Kosovo group left the session. The government needed the support of at least 61 of the 120MPs in the Kosovo Parliament. Lëvizja Vetëvendosje (LVV) and the Democratic League of Kosovo have 58 MPs in total. The “Serb list” party, which has 10 parliamentary seats, has said it will not support the Kurti government, as it “trusts only Belgrade”. The Six Plus parliamentary group, which brings together members of minority (non-Serb) communities, has said it will support the Kurti government.

Following the presentation of the cabinet, the new ministers sworn in together with the new Prime Minister, Kurti. First Deputy Prime Minister is Avdullah Hoti of Isa Mustafa Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), second Deputy Prime Minister is Haki Abazi of the Self-Determination Movement (LVV).

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be headed by Glauk Konjufca, Ministry of Justice is headed by Albulena Haxhiu, Finance Minister Besnik Bislimi, Minister of Economy Rosetti Hajdari, Minister of Health Arben Vitia and Minister of European Integration Blerim Reka.

Current Mayor of Podujevo Agim Veliu becomes Minister of the Interior, Minister of Infrastructure is Lumir Abdixhiku, Minister of Agriculture Besian Mustafa, Minister of Education, Science and Technology Hykmete Bajrami, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Vlora Dumoshi and Minister of Defense Anton Quni.

From the ranks of the Belgrade-maintained “Serb list” Dalibor Jevtic was elected Minister for Communities and Return, and Ivan Milojevic Minister for Regional Development.

Emilia Rexhepi, of the Bosniak minority, was elected Minister of Administration and Local Government.

The leader of Self-Determination Albin Kurti said that Konjufca will not resign as a speaker of the Kosovo parliament but his election as a minister ends his term as a MP and in consequence, he will seize his functions as a speaker also.

After the government members swore in, during an extraordinary session, the Parliament of Kosovo elected Vjosa Osmani from LDK as a Speaker of Parliament.

Her election came after Glauk Konjufca vacated the post of Speaker of Parliament and agreed to enter the executive branch, which in fact made it possible to conclude an LVV-LDK coalition agreement. Her choice was also backed by “Serb list” members. For its part, LDK has agreed to exclude from the coalition agreement the demand for the position of president of the state, which will become vacant in 2021. The leaders of both parties will agree on this at an appropriate moment.

In his first speech as Prime Minister, Albin Kurti stated:

Today a new chapter of the state of Kosovo has been opened. What seemed impossible has become possible because a nation that refuses to obey will do everything possible. He added that the people of Kosovo have never endured submission, neither from external occupiers, nor from internal rulers.

He promised that he would give his best to all peoples, regardless of differences, and that he would be prime minister of all, no matter how one votes.

“Today begins our journey with great and tireless work to achieve the changes we all are waiting for, which our country needs.”

Kurti called on all public officials to distance themselves and report corruption, saying the new leadership had allies to look after the public’s wealth. He added that on 03.02 a new chapter of Kosovo’s foreign policy, which should be united, is launched.

“To those who recognize and respect our country, we say that we will strengthen cooperation and partnership. To those who are hesitant to acknowledge us, we say that we will work to earn their recognition and respect. To those who deny our right, who seek to occupy us from the outside by dividing us from the inside, I would like to say that Kosovo has a new prime minister and the time when personal interests were over the state has passed. Kosovo is an independent and sovereign state, and this is a prerequisite for every dialogue and epilogue and any agreement”, Kurti said.

He also stated that Kosovo is striving for Euro-Atlantic integration, enhancing co-operation, rapprochement and integration with Albania and maintaining a partnership with the United States.

Based on the coalition agreement with the LDK signed on February 2, Kurti presented the program of the future government.

He announced in his statement that the new government would be committed to law, order and security, work to prepare for the improvement of Kosovo security forces, introduce mandatory three-month military service and announce revisions at police, prosecutor’s office and other agencies.

He said the future government would work to punish war crimes by adopting the necessary legislation in this regard. He also announced the creation of an Institute on War Crimes. Kurti also promised reforms of the education system, as well as an increase of the health budget. He also said his government would be efficient in spending public money, support small and medium-sized enterprises, protect workers and set up a development fund based on privatization funds. He added that Kosovo’s budget will reach the value of three billion euros in his term.

Kurti announced that he would reorganize the agricultural subsidy and grants scheme, and the new government would offer ongoing training to teaching staff and that combating air pollution would be a particular priority.

He stressed that he would introduce mutually beneficial trade, economic and political measures with Serbia and expressed readiness to continue the dialogue for normalization of relations, announcing the formation of a comprehensive team in political, ethnic, social and professional terms, which will continuously work on the process of normalization of relations.

Dialogue with Serbia will be held at the Prime Minister level on the basis of a constitutional mandate for the development of bilateral relations, including on the issue of missing persons, the damage caused by the war, occupation and continuity of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

The government program also envisages the drafting of a parliamentary resolution, which will be a platform for the dialogue with Serbia, outlining the principles in this regard. The program states that dialogue cannot be conducted on issues such as territorial integrity, sovereignty of the country, internal regulation and functionality of the country, the unified nature of statehood, the creation of a third authority in regions with Serb populations. The program also envisages a review of the implementation of the Kosovo-Serbia agreements signed so far.

The full composition of the new Kosovo government:

Prime Minister – Albin Kurti (LVV);

Deputy Prime Ministers – Avdullah Hoti (LDK) and Haki Abazi (LVV);

Minister of Justice – Albulena Haxhiu (LVV);

Minister of Foreign Affairs – Glauk Konjufca (LVV);

Minister of Finances and Transfers – Besnik Bislimi (LVV);

Minister of Health – Arben Vitia (LVV);

Minister of European Integration – Blerim Reka (LVV);

Minister of Economy, Labor and Strategic Investments – Rozeta Hajdari (LVV);

Minister of Internal Affairs – Agim Veliu (LDK);

Minister of Defense – Anton Quni (LDK);

Minister of Agriculture – Besian Mustafa (LDK);

Minister of Education – Hykmete Bajrami (LDK);

Minister of Culture, Youth, and Sports – Vlora Dumoshi (LDK);

Minister of Infrastructure – Lumir Abdixhiku (LDK);

Minister of Administration – Emilia Redxepi (New Democratic Party – Bosniak minority);

Minister for Communities – Dalibor Jevtic (Serb List);

Minister on Regional Development – Ivan Milojevic (Serb List).

The two parties called the coalition “a coalition of hope”, saying that citizens voted in favor of change on October 6, 2019, expressing interest in the joint government in the election campaign.

Former governing parties the Democratic Party of Kosovo, the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo and the Social Democratic Initiative have announced that they remain in opposition.

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