President Pacolli receives the CEC Chairwoman, Ms. Valdete Daka

The President of the Republic of Kosovo Behgjet Pacolli had a meeting today with the Chairwoman of the Central Election Commission (CEC) Ms. Valdete Daka.

President Pacolli said that the first meeting gave first ideas for amending the Law on Elections and the article of the Constitution of Kosovo that defines Kosovo as an electoral zone.

President said that the bad experience with the last elections should encourage them to work on these amendments.

“As far as Law on Elections is concerned, I had a meeting with Ms. Daka, where I heard her ideas for future elections. “Of course, this institution has done a wonderful job, given the conditions in which elections were organised, and it has managed to organise those elections, though they lasted to long. It is an institution that knows these issues the best” – President Pacolli said.

He also announced a roundtable to discuss these issues.

“The Office of the President aims at organising a roundtable with representatives of various parties, be they represented in the Assembly or not and be they governing or opposition parties, including the civil society, so as to listen to their ideas about ways to amend the Law on Elections. Based on these ideas, we will establish a commission, who will work directly on preparing a draft law that would, in the future and with the endorsement of the political spectrum and the civil society, become the future Law on Elections” – he said.

“We also discussed considering technological aspects of organising future elections. Both parties agreed to keep on cooperating, as of today, on amending the Law on Elections in the Republic of Kosovo.

On the other hand, the Chairwoman of the Central Election Commission Valdete Daka said she “had a meeting with the President to discuss election reforms and the CEC role in reforms due soon, with the assistance of the Office of the President as well”.

Ms. Daka also thanked the President for his support, and expressed her hope that the working group would start their work as soon as possible.

Further on, President Pacolli and Ms. Valdete Daka answered questions posed by journalists:

Question: There are two organisations who both aim at ousting you, the civil society and some opposition parties, and the second is the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, which is about to file an appeal with the Constitutional Court against the voting for your election. In which do you see a greater danger?

President Behgjet Pacolli: I don’t think of destructive things. I believe Kosovar society needs constructive things; things beneficial to the people of Kosovo; things that help find faster solutions to problems that the people of Kosovo are facing. It is their right. Let them do so, should they think so. I believe the Kosovar society, the civil society and the political spectrum are aware of their actions, and I wouldn’t like them to abuse the names of distinguished people who have contributed to building this society or the names of non-governmental organisations that have provided a great contribution.

I always believe in constructive things and constructive actions and we will keep on doing our job, regardless of who thinks what.

Question: Mr. President, when do you expect the first meeting on amending the Law on Elections to take place?

President Behgjet Pacolli: I have started consultations with the CEC today. I had to discuss with the CEC first, and these days we will extend invitations to various parties, starting with parliamentary groups, because they should confirm the current members of the CEC or replace them – they have right to do so. We also have the Vetëvendosje [Self-Determination], who should send their representative to the CEC, so the work will start as of today. I believe we will be ready for the next meeting in two weeks time.

Question: Ms. Daka, what would your suggestions to the political parties be, given that your have been the one who has pinpointed most of shortcomings in the Law?

Ms. Valdete Daka: As CEC, we have naturally identified most of challenges, the good and the bad ones, which we have met during the last elections. First of all, the CEC must hold a meeting on its own to discuss lessons learned and obstacles come across; to see what have the challenges been and where have we faced the biggest problems during the last elections and, after that, we will certainly come out with recommendations as to our observations about last elections.

Question: Is the dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade procrastinating the further recognition and by when can we expect your recognition tour?

President Behgjet Pacolli: I am inclined to believe in constructivism and it is good that the dialogue has started. I guarantee the people of Kosovo that there will be no talks about issues touching upon Kosovo’s sovereignty. There will be no talks about Kosovo’s sovereignty, or Kosovo’s borders, or is status or Constitution. These are settled issues and any changes in that regard appertain to Kosovars exclusively.

Concerning the procrastination of further recognitions, it is true that we have had an institutional vacuum, but, as you know, recognitions have arrived even in that institutional vacuum, which means that there was no standstills in that regard. Now, together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we are discussing again implementation of a diplomatic program, which we are defining; a program that will be innovative and I trust will help accelerate further recognitions. I have not stopped personally. My lobbying teams are doing their work, especially in Africa and the Middle East and results we be seen soon.

Question: Besides the idea for electoral units, will you undertake the initiative that you have preferred earlier for the President to be elected by the direct votes of the people? Are you still in favour of that?

President Behgjet Pacolli: I will always be in favour of that. You know that even in my early involvement in the political spectrum, I have raised my voice about this and I reiterate yet again that only a President elected by the votes of the people can be a legitimate President. I have committed to this while I was holding my speech on the day of my election as President of Kosovo and I will do my utmost to make sure that the Law on Elections is amended and, believe me, we are working on that as well. You will soon become acquainted with a commission that will also be composed of people from political parties and civil society, who will engage directly in drafting the Law, namely in preparing the draft amendments to the Constitution i.e. the part that relates to the election of the President.

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