THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF KOSOVO DR. JAKUP KRASNIQI RESUMES HIS CONSULTATIONS WITH POLITICAL ENTITIESThe Acting President of the Republic of Kosovo received today leaders and representatives of political parties represented at the Assembly of Kosovo.
We just had a working meeting with almost all the representatives of political parties, with the exceptions of those of the newly registered. We discussed ways to hold early elections. I believe we managed to round up many issues. All the political parties, or the political parties that were present at todays meeting, were against extraordinary elections, but concurred that the current situation necessitates early elections. In a way or another, they all agree to abide by the Law [on Elections] and the Constitution, but there were some requests for holding the elections in mid-May, in mid-February or in the beginning of March, the Acting President Dr. Jakup Krasniqi stated after the meeting.
We will also hold consultations with the Central Election Commission (CEC), in order to learn from them what can an optimal deadline for constituting institutions that will emerge from free elections be. We know that March 28 may find Kosovo with a constituted Parliament, with a President of the Assembly and with a President of the State. It is an imperative to make sure that 28 March finds Kosovo with these new institutions that will emerge from elections. Perhaps, if the new law is adopted and deadlines for filing complaints are made shorter and political parties manage to shorten their own deadlines for complaints, we might take a final decision and announce elections. We have agreed to consult next week with national experts, with the CEC again and with some international expert about setting a date for elections, the Acting President of Kosovo Dr. Jakup Krasniqi added.
Subsequently, Dr. Jakup Krasniqi answered questions by journalists.
Question: Mr. A/President, what is the mood among the largest parties, as few minutes ago, the President of the LDK Mr. Fatmir Sejdiu mentioned March 6 as a date proposed by the LDK. What dates have the PDK and other major political parties proposed?
Acting President Dr. Jakup Krasniqi: The PDK has not come up with a date. Rather, it has requested that sufficient time is made available to constitute the Parliament and institutions that will emerge from elections. Of course, I know that this [elections] may happen by the end of January or the beginning of March. There are procedures that the CEC is dealing with now, but it is necessary to ensure that this [elections] happens during the first weeks of February.
Question: What is the mood among most political parties and can Kosovo descend into an institutional crisis, if no consensus on elections is reached?
Acting President Dr. Jakup Krasniqi: A consensus has been reached, in fact. We have all agreed to early elections. Experts must give their opinion and set the date. Perhaps, my personal wish would be to hold them [elections] in May, when the weather will improve. However, my mandate [as A/President] expires on 28 March and I want to make sure that, by March 28, Kosovo eventually has its institutions emerged from free elections.
Question: Mr. A/President, you spoke of early and extraordinary elections. Can you please provide us with sufficient explanations on these terms, because the Constitution does not refer to either of them?
Acting President of Kosovo Dr. Jakup Krasniqi: It sure does, especially the Law on Elections, which provides that extraordinary elections shall be held within 45 days and this is the difference between extraordinary and early elections. Even though the law complicates this issue a bit, I believe experts can explain. You know that both the Law [on Elections] and the Constitution have left some gaps and can be interpreted in different ways. Anyways, I will consult both international and our experts and others about this.
Question: If the parties are not willing, will you be the one that will set the date eventually?
A/President Dr. Jakup Krasniqi: The Constitution provides so; it is not that I so.
Question: Is there a deadline by when the date of elections must be set?
A/President Dr. Jakup Krasniqi: There is. We will have some further consultations, and I believe we will manage to abide by the Constitution, which is, to us, a Bible, or a Koran, or both.