New elections in Kosovo, with the ultranationalist Self-Determination as the favorite

One million eight hundred thousand Kosovars are called to the polls this Sunday to elect the formation of a new Parliament. Polls predict a clear victory for the ultra-nationalist leftist party Self-Determination, whose leader, the former prime minister Albin Kurti, he is not allowed to stand as a deputy for a conviction in 2018, although he could end up as prime minister if Parliament so decided.

“It is the moment of the referendum,” Kurti said at a rally. “This February 14 you will decide for a better future, in which Vjosa as president and I as prime minister will be responsible, dedicated and helpful. Trust Vjosa and trust me,” said Kurti with the acting president, Vjosa Osmani.

The prime minister, in the air

Even though Self Determination’s victory is taken for granted, It remains to be seen whether or not it will be by an absolute majority. From there, anyone could end up as prime minister. The Kosovo Democratic Party, second in the polls, or the Kosovo Democratic League, mainly aspire that Self-Determination does not achieve that absolute majority.

“I am the only serious candidate to be Prime Minister on Monday, February 15,” maintains the former Foreign Minister and leader of the Kosovo Democratic Party, Enver Hoxhaj. “The others, those who do not have the right to be on the lists, I suppose they will know that they cannot even be candidates.” Hoxhaj presents for his party after two of the main leaders of the PDK fell on the road, Hasim Thaçi Y Kadri Veseli, also charged.

The Democratic League of Kosovo presents itself led by the outgoing prime minister, Avdullah Hoti, whose government was annulled in December by the Constitutional Court. Hoti had previously caused Kurti’s downfall by breaking up the coalition between his two parties.

“We hope that we will be confirmed as the first game, and by a landslide,” the center-right leader said in an interview. “I guarantee that the real polls will be seen on Sunday when the people decide.”

Different governments, same problems

Whoever wins, the challenges of the new government seem clear in Kosovo: The fight against corruption, the economic situation as a result of the pandemic and of course the dialogue with Serbia.

“What the people of Kosovo expect from the next government is that it addresses corruption,” confirms the Executive Director of the Balkan Research Information Network, Jeta Xharra. “And as for the international scene, the new leaders are expected to be able to reach a definitive agreement with Serbia, to sign that agreement.”

A total of 28 parties concur to legislative ones in which various parties may end up being the key to the formation of a new government. Among them is the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, of the also former prime minister Ramush Haradinai:

“We are going to safeguard the balance of powers,” promises the leader of AAK. “We are going to safeguard our parliamentary democracy and the separation of powers: legislative, judicial, executive and even presidential.”

After two failed governments in just one yearKosovo hopes to find some political stability after these elections, although history does not invite optimism: since its declaration of independence in 2008, no government has managed to serve its term.