Assembly gives Kosovo a provisional constitution

Prishtina, 12 July 2004 – The Kosovo Assembly voted in last weeks’ session to support the changes in the Constitutional Framework. According to most of Kosovar dailies the assembly has given Kosovo a provisional constitution.

Koha Ditore notes that 88 assembly members voted in support of renaming the Constitutional Framework in “Provisional Constitution of Kosovo”. They also voted for establishing a Constitutional Court, forming six new ministries, extending the next Assembly’s mandate from three to four years and for creating the possibility of holding referenda.

The adoption of 38 amendments for the Constitutional Framework was followed by applause in the hall of the Kosovo Assembly. The package of amendments proposed that consisted of 42 changes was not voted as a whole, so some 4 amendments, one related to minorities and three others were left to be harmonized and voted in one of the futures sessions. According to the member of the Assembly Presidency from Coalition ‘Povratak’, Oliver Ivanovic, the decision of the Assembly ‘does not mean anything’. According to Zëri four amendments were left to be voted some other time because the representatives of non-Serb minorities had some objections to them.

Koha Ditore carries a press release issued by UNMIK in regard to the changes in the Constitutional Framework. ‘UNMIK has closely followed the session of the Assembly of Kosovo, which discussed proposals to amend the Constitutional Framework. UNMIK’s position on the current initiative to amend the Constitutional Framework is clear. A comprehensive review of the Constitutional Framework is outside the competence of the Assembly. Specific proposals for amendments in areas that are not within the reserved powers can be duly considered. UNMIK is open to discuss such proposals, provided they are submitted in accordance with the provisions of the Constitutional Framework.

In recent weeks the Acting SRSG has discussed this issue with Assembly President Nexhat Daci on several occasions. Mr. Brayshaw said that careful attention needs to be given to the Security Council and the Contact Group statements about where our priorities should be. He emphasized that we need to focus urgently on the actions called for in the Standards for Kosovo implementation plan. Any changes that are proposed for the Constitutional Framework must be in accordance with the guidance given by the Security Council and expressed in the Standards for Kosovo. A different approach puts us on a wrong course that diverts time and energy from the urgent work in the run-up to the mid-2005 review,’ noted the press release.