Author: Sefer Selimi Jr.
After more than four months of efforts, the Republic of Kosovo won its Government, led by the unconventional politician, leader of the Movement Vetvendosja, Albin Kurti. His journey to the top post in the Kosovo executive was followed by many vicissitudes, contradictions and clashes with political opponents but also with his own political organization associates. Known for his radical attitudes and actions, Kurti himself created a group of fanatical followers who all this time remained loyal to him but also to many plotted enemies who would not interrupt their activities to eliminate him from the political scene.
In the new reality, he is now faced with the extraordinary task of fulfilling the made promises, justifying his opposition and building the governor for whom he has preached all this time. It would be easy to agree that this is the least that can be expected of a politician seeking the citizen’s vote to take power but as in, many other cases it is easier said than done. His first challenge was to face the creation of a parliamentary majority that would give him the executive power.
Almost everyone expected this process will go smoothly, even Kurti himself who was convinced he would build a parliamentary majority 72 hours after certifying the outcome based on democratic logic that the two opposition forces received the blessing of citizens to lead Kosovo. What he neglected, perhaps intentionally, was the fact that the Democratic League of Kosovo is not a party even close to his own party.
The LDK is the oldest party in Kosovo that had the power more than any other party had and has co-governed with all parties except the LVV. The political constellations within the party of historic President Rugova have changed and that LDK from the past, known as a grouping of intellectuals and bright minds, belongs to history while today the same is a grouping of mainly personal interests and there is no difference from the PDK, AAK or any other party operating in Kosovo. Shameful were the images from the LDK’s internal party elections, which were followed by a physical fight to seize leadership positions indicating that their political morality might have died with Ibrahim Rugova. Therefore, the success of this Government cannot be predicted without considering the variable of the coalition partner with which it shares equal power. What will be the challenges that Kurti’s Government will face:
War against corruption – As in all Western Balkan countries, the greatest threat to the security, well-being and citizens’ perspective is metastasized corruption at all levels of Government. The war against this phenomenon cannot only focus on the current governors but also requires the punishment of those who have abused power in the past. This mission is extremely difficult for many reasons, but the main ones are the power of the judiciary that is controlled by the corrupted and the danger of selective justice. The latter mainly concerns the LDK, whose functionaries can be spared to keep the Government alive.
Dialogue with Serbia and Final Solution – Rude but also populist attitudes of the past place Mr. Kurti in a difficult position both inside Kosovo and at the negotiating table. Now he will have to find a balance to maintain his political credibility while also making the compromises needed to reach a final deal, eagerly sought by President Trump’s administration. Further complications may be the April’s elections in Serbia, whose politicians as battle horses use nationalist rhetoric largely against Kosovo’s independence in pre-election campaigns, which could further distract them even further from their approximate positions.
Economic Development and Youth Emigration – Although Kosovo has sustained economic growth, this does not translate into welfare for all citizens. Difficult economic but also social conditions are the main factors driving Kosovo’s citizens, especially young people, to leave the country in search of better opportunities. Finding the right mechanisms that will deliver short-term results is difficult and disrupting the migration trend endangers not only Kosovo but also the entire region
Kosovo has sacrificed much to achieve its independence, and unfortunately, those who had to take the utmost care to materialize that sacrifice were misused for personal interests. Now Kosovo has a chance to regain hope, and that will largely depend on the political prudence of the head of Government, a chance that is hard to replicate again, so the time for idealistic statements is over and it is time for Albin Kurti to take complete responsibility which he has so earnestly sought all this time.