Kosovo minister resigns after ruling party dismisses all indicted members

Gazeta Express
20 Qershor 2019 13:45

Kosovo minister of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Besim Beqaj, has offered his resignation Thursday a day after his party – the PDK, ordered all its members indicted of various criminal charges, leave all public posts.

Beqaj, is senior member of the ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) and is one of 11 senior PDK officials indicted in 2018 of allegedly handing out state jobs to people based on their political affiliation. After offering his resignation to Kosovo prime minister, Ramush Haradinaj, Beqaj said that the indictment against him is ungrounded. “This morning I have offered my resignation to Prime Minister. I am convinced that the indictment is ungrounded and I am convinced that I have not violated the law. The outcome is expected soon,” Beqaj said in a press conference on Thursday. Amongst other things, Beqaj said that he will continue be part of the biggest ruling party, PDK, and contribute in this party. Beqaj is one of 11 PDK officials indicted in the so called “Pronto” affair. The case is based on wiretaps made in 2011 during an anticorruption operation. According to the indictment, the defendants could be heard in wiretapped conversations offering party supporters jobs at state-financed agencies. Leaks from the wiretaps led to a public scandal in 2016 involving high-ranking PDK officials, including current president Hashim Thaci, who in 2011 was prime minister of Kosovo. The scandal was dubbed the “Pronto Affair” by media because Thaci could be heard on a leaked recording answering his phone using the Italian word “pronto” when he received a call from a senior PDK official, Adem Grabovci, who frequently demanded that government officials direct jobs to PDK members. /GazetaExpress/

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