At the end of the week of February 14, the citizens of the Republic of Kosova will be heading to the polls, to vote on a new Parliament. These elections come after the recent verdict of the Constitutional Court, regarding the legitimacy of Avdullah Hoti’s Government, voted on June 3, 2020. The Constitutional Court has stated that Hoti’s Government was not voted in with a majority of MP’s (61/120), since one of the MP’s that voted was already sentenced to over a year in prison by the Court of Appeals on corruption charges. This means that for seven months Kosova has been governed by an illegitimate and unconstitutional Government.
The unconstitutional Government formed by the right-wing LDK was established after overthrowing the social-democratic and reformist Government led by Albin Kurti of Lëvizja VETËVENDOSJE!. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, LDK in coordination with the other parties from the ancient regime, assisted by an intense fake news assault, and highly influenced and backed by Trump’s former special emissary, Richard Grenell, brought down the Kurti Government and created an unconstitutional one. This was aimed at promoting a quick fix deal between Kosova and Serbia, as a foreign policy trophy for Trump’s electoral campaign. The governance over this period resulted in a record high numbers of infections and deaths of citizens by COVID-19, a dire social and economic situation, and in ongoing corruption.
For over two decades Kosova has been governed by the same political parties, in a variety of coalition combinations. Under the eyes of international missions, first the UN mission and afterwards the EU mission for the rule of law, this old guard of politicians has enriched themselves in a country that has stagnated economically and has regressed in its education and health systems. The main mechanism for this illegal enrichment was the process of privatization of State and Public Owned Enterprises. Through this dispossession project, around 80,000 workers were thrown out of their jobs by the new private owners and social and economic inequality has risen sharply.
With the reality of over 30% unemployment, only 1 in 8 women employed, a deteriorating health system, low quality of education in all levels and mass migration, Kosova needed an alternative to this establishment of the old elites. In 2010, Lëvizja VETËVENDOSJE! (LVV; Movement for Self-Determination) participated for the first time in the elections. As the only center-left political party in Kosova, LVV is the only party that has recorded constant growth since 2010. In the first part of the last decade, LVV grew to become the biggest opposition party, and in the second half of the decade, it won both of the parliamentary elections. Kosova is a rare case in the Balkans, where the opposition can win elections, but it cannot govern because of the state capture.