After a new election and four months of
government negotiations, Kosovo was given a new
government in February 2020. But major contradictions,
among other things, about how the corona crisis was to
be handled, contributed to the government's collapse
soon and in early June another new coalition government
was formed. It is led by Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti
from the right-wing party LDK.
In the elections held in October 2019, the Albanian
nationalist and wait-oriented Vetėvendosje unexpectedly
became the largest party, closely followed by LDK.
Together, both parties received half of the vote and
almost half of the parliamentary mandate. Thus, the road
was open to form a government without PDK, the party
that led all governments since Kosovo's independence in
2008 (see Modern History and Political System).
Country facts and history of Kosovo, including state flag, location map, demographics, GDP data, currency code, and business statistics.
Vetėvendosje and LDK tried to form government
together, with the support of a somewhat smaller party,
but the attempts dragged on over time. The parties had
difficulty in agreeing primarily on who would receive
the presidential post when the current term expires in
April 2021 (see Calendar). Finally, following the threat
of yet another new election, Vetėvendosje and LDK agreed
on a government formation where the issue of the
presidential post was postponed in the future. Some
small minority parties were also included in the
government, which thus had support in Parliament.
The government took office in early February, with
Vetėvendosje's leader Albin Kurti as prime minister.
Vetėvendosje is a party that had previously stood out
for violent protests both on the streets and in
Parliament, and which was not part of any government.
Kurti is a former student leader who has been called
"Kosovo's Che Guevara" and has been in prison in Serbia
for political reasons. Kurti, who opposes the
settlements that have been concluded with Serbia since
2011, was something of a red-carpet in Belgrade as he
has openly advocated a rapprochement with Albania.
A contradiction that created tensions in Kurti's
government was also that he refused to lift trade
sanctions against Serbia introduced by the previous
government, despite strong pressure from the US and the
When the corona crisis broke out, the Minister of the
Interior Agim Veliu advocated the introduction of
emergency permits. Kurti opposed a state of emergency,
which would have given the president increased powers at
the prime minister's expense. The result was that Kurti
kicked Veliu, whose party LDK then announced a vote of
no confidence (see further Calendar).
Kurti then tried to get another election, but failed
when the Constitutional Court stopped. On the day four
months after Kurti's entry, Avdullah Hoti was able to
take office. He leads a government with three smaller
parties and support in Parliament by representatives of
ethnic parties (see Calendar).
The fall 2019 election was announced in advance since
the then Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj the summer
before announcing his departure after being called to
interrogation by war criminal prosecutors in The Hague.
Prosecutors wanted to hear Haradinaj, former leader of
the UĒK guerrilla movement, about suspected crimes
during the war in Kosovo 1998-1999. Haradinaj has
previously been prosecuted by the UN Criminal Tribunal,
but released in the absence of evidence (see Democracy
President since 2016 is Hashim Thaēi, also he a
former guerrilla leader in UĒK. Thaēi, who was Prime
Minister from 2008 to 2014 has his background in PDK but
is formally independent as head of state. In June 2020,
it was announced that he had been prosecuted by the
Special Prosecutor of Kosovo set up in The Hague to
investigate war crimes during the war (see Calendar and
Democracy and Rights).
Follow the ongoing development of the Calendar.
FACTS - POLITICS
Republic of Kosovo / Republic of Kosovo / Republic of
Head of State
President Hashim Thaēi (2016–)
Head of government
Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti (2020–)
Most important parties with mandates in the
Vetėvendosje 29, LDK 28, PDK 24, AAK 13, Serbian list
10, Nisma-AKR-PD 6, other 10 (2019)
Main parties with mandates in the second most
alliance PDK – AAK – Nisma 39, Vetėvendosje 32,
alliance LDK – AKR – Alternative 29, Serbian list 9,
rest 11 (2017)
45% in the 2019 parliamentary elections
parliamentary elections 2023; the president is
elected indirectly by Parliament (next time 2021)
The prime minister is appointed as league leader
In a report, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe points out
Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi as leader of a mafia-like league, the Drenica Group.
It must have consisted of prominent men in the guerrilla movement UÇK, the
Kosovo Liberation Army, which Thaçi led in the late 1990s. The report shows
testimony about murders, tortures and other atrocities that occurred in the
guerrilla prison camps against Serbs and Roma. Thaçi and his party describe the
charges as slanderous. Kosovo's acting president Jakup Krasniqi also dismisses
the allegations, but requests that they be investigated. The report of the
Council of Europe also addresses Serbian war crimes.
PDK wins the parliamentary elections
The ruling PDK wins with 33.5 percent of the vote, followed by 23.6 percent
for LDK. The new party Vetëvendosje (Self-determination) takes 12.2 percent. LDK
accuses PDK of election fraud. The opposition demands that parts of the election
be redone, and the electoral authority decides that re-election should be held
in five locations, including Thais's home town.
The government is falling
The government is cast in a vote of no confidence, and new elections are
announced in December.
The President resigns
President Fatmir Sejdiu resigns after the Constitutional Court ruled that he
violated the Constitution when he, as president, remained as chairman of LDK,
one of the government parties. In an attempt to resolve the political crisis,
the acting president, Jakup Krasniqi, announced a new parliamentary election in
February. But the decision on re-election comes as a surprise to parts of the
government, and Sejdius LDK leaves the coalition. New leader of LDK becomes
Prishtina's mayor Isa Mustafa.
Kosovo's declaration of independence not illegal
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague ruled in a ruling that
Kosovo's declaration of independence was not illegal under international law.
Haradinaj again in court
The UN War Criminal Tribunal in The Hague decides that Kosovo's former Prime
Minister Ramush Haradinaj will again face trial for war crimes, as there were
threats against witnesses during the trial against him in 2008 which ended with
Serbian local elections in northern Kosovo
Serbs hold local elections in two districts of northern Kosovo where they
dominate. The election triggers new unrest in Mitrovica.
The Albanian-dominated police take over
An important step in the transfer of powers from the NATO-led international
force to local authorities occurs when the Kosovo police, dominated by
Albanians, take over the guarding of the politically sensitive monument on the
Serbian historic land of the Trast field (Kosovo police). The surrender raises
upset feelings in Serbia and Belgrade criticizes the decision.