The Parliament has failed on Wednesday again to ratify the Agreement on border demarcation with Montenegro which is one of the last criteria for Kosovo citizens to travel without visas into the EU Schengen area. The AAK and LDK traded accusations on Wednesday after PM Haradinaj’s party (AAK) accused the opposition party of LDK of manipulating the Draft Law.
The Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) headed by country’s prime minister Ramush Haradinaj, is accusing the opposition Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) of manipulating the Draft Law on ratification of border demarcation between Kosovo and Montenegro. The AAK alleges that the LDK has amended the Draft Law without their consent and after reaching a consensus on its ratification in Parliament. Last week ruling parties faced with lack of support in Assembly reached an agreement with the opposition party of LDK to ratify the deal. The Prime Minister Haradinaj announced last Saturday that the disputed report of the State Commission on demarcation, headed by former LDK MP Shpejtim Bulliqi, will be reflected in the Draft Law only as “orientation” document for MPs. This was also accepted by the LDK who insisted that the report drafted by their MP produces no legal effect and should not be reflected at the Draft Law. As a compromise ruling parties and LDK agreed for the report be included in the draft law highlighting only that it should be used only as “orientation” document by MPs. The AAK says that the LDK has amended the accord by changing the chronological order of articles a claim which was denied by the LDK. According to the AAK members of the LDK Committee on Foreign Affairs, during an accelerated procedure on Wednesday in Parliament have voted the Draft Law with the alleged changes, violating the accord it was reached only few days ago between Haradinaj and LDK. Gazeta Express got hold of a letter that Haradinaj sent to political leaders warning them that if further amendments happen the agreement for consensus “can return to point zero.”
But the LDK MP and chairwoman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Vjosa Osmani, in a statement to Gazeta Express, said they have voted the same text which was proceeded to them by the Assembly. “The same text was read twice in the Commission and was voted twice by all members present in the meeting, including the AAK representative,” Osmani said. The chief of LDK parliamentary group, Avdullah Hoti, denied AAK’s accusations. In a statement posted in Facebook Hoti attached a document confirming that the version published by him is the same one all parties have agreed to vote in parliament. “During Wednesday’s session of Parliament I have read the agreement which was later approved by the Commission on Foreign Affairs as amendment to the Draft Law on demarcation. The minutes of the Assembly confirm this. This is the truth,” Hoti wrote. But the AAK MP, Muharrem Nitaj answered to Hoti through Facebook writing that the LDK has removed from the article 3 of the Draft Law the report of the State Commission on demarcation, headed by Shpejtim Bulliqi, and has decided, as he said, without consent of other parties, to present in the Draft Law as separate article.
Despite the consensus of ruling and opposition party of the LDK, the Assembly failed to ratify the demarcation on Wednesday after ruling coalition lacked 80 votes needed to ratify this international agreement. Kosovo leaders hoped the ratification will happen on Wednesday as they were preparing to host the European Union high level delegation, headed by the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, accompanied by High Representative Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Johannes Hahn. During his trip to Pristina as part of his Western Balkans tour, Juncker said that ratification of demarcation is key and inevitable for Kosovo in order to get visa liberalisation.