Kosovo Government restricts public movement, President Thaci opposes the move
Kosovo Government approved Monday a decision imposing strict restriction on movement aimed at preventing further spread of coronavirus. But President Hashim Thaci was quick to react saying the Government’s move represents a “flagrant” violation of the Constitution adding that citizens are not obliged to respect the measures. The clash of Prime Minister Albin Kurti and President Thaci comes amidst coronavirus epidemics as the number of those tested positive for COVID-19 raised to 61 on Monday evening.
The Government of Kosovo has decided to
restrict movement of vehicles and citizens from 10:00-16:00 and from 20:00-06:00.
The decision was taken during a Government meeting held in distance due to
COVID-19 measures. The minister of Health Arben Vitia proposed these measures
on Sunday aimed at preventing further spread of coronavirus.
But president Hashim Thaci during an urgent
press conference said the Government’s decision is null and void and citizens
are not obliged to respect them. According to President Thaci only the Parliament
can take such measures. “The decision to restrict the freedom of movement of
citizens represents a violation of human rights and freedoms guaranteed by the
Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo,” Thaci said and added that he will
challenge the Government’s decision to the Constitutional Court. He also said
the Kosovo Police and other security authorities are not obliged to respect
this “unconstitutional decision.” Also, opposition parties, PDK, AAK and Nisma
have opposed Government’s decision calling it unconstitutional.
Last week prime minister Albin Kurti has opposed
President’s proposal to declare state of emergency. This led to a clash between
ruling coalition partners after Kurti sacked minister of Interior, Agim Veliu,
for siding with the President when during a televised interview said declaration
of the state of emergency is necessary. Following this move Veliu’s party the
LDK, which is in coalition with Kurti’s Vetevendosje, initiated a no-confidence
motion in Kurti’s Government. The LDK has already proceeded the motion to Parliament
and according to the Constitution the LDK has five days to vote the motion. On
Monday deputy Speaker of Parliament from Vetevendosje Arberie Nagavci said there
are no conditions to schedule a session to vote no-confidence motion due to coronavirus
crisis. The Parliament’s Presidency is set to convene on Tuesday and take a decision.