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Symbolbild Ministerpräsident Hashim Thaci nach Wahl im Kosovo 07.06.2016
Image: Armend Nimani/AFP/Getty Images

Kosovo to form coalition government

November 20, 2014

Signaling an end to a six-month stalemate, Kosovo's two main political parties have reached an agreement to form a coalition government. It is unclear however who will head the new regime.

https://p.dw.com/p/1Dq83

Kosovo's two largest political parties struck a deal late Wednesday to form a coalition government, bringing an end to a nearly six-month deadlock.

President Atifete Jahjaga announced the breakthrough after holding meetings with prime minister Hashim Thaci of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) and Isa Mustafa of the rival Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK).

"Thaci and Mustafa agreed in principle to form a coalition between PDK and LDK, to build institutions of the Republic of Kosovo," Jahjaga said in a press release.

The statement did not mention whether Thaci, a former paramilitary leader who has been prime minister of Kosovo since 2008 would continue in his role as head of the government. A separate statement from the LDK however said that Mustafa would become prime minister.

"Based on the agreement, the position of prime minister will belong to the LDK," the statement said. "Division of the ministries will be decided over the coming days."

Stalemate broken

Thaci's PDK won parliamentary elections in June but did not win a wide enough majority needed to support Thaci as prime minister. An alliance of opposition parties led by the LDK stymied Thaci's attempts to remain in the top government job and the two sides have argued for the past six months over the which party had the right to form the government.

Kosovo Parlament
Kosovo's 120-seat parliament is expected to meet by the end of the week and vote to form a grand coalitionImage: picture-alliance/dpa

Mustafa's LDK, along with other opposition parties had sought to oust Thaci from his post following allegations of corruption and an international investigation into organ trafficking.

The coalition will still have to be voted on by Kosovo's 120-seat parliament, which is expected to convene by the end of the week.

Kosovo declared independence in 2008 after breaking away from Serbia in 1999, when NATO planes bombed Serbian troops suspected of carrying out ethnic cleansing of Albanian civilians during a two-year war. Thaci led the ethnic Albanian fighters in Kosovo during the separatist war.

The Balkan state has been recognized by over 100 countries, but not yet by Serbia, which rejects Kosovo's independence.

bw/jm (Reuters, AFP, AP)