Kosovo Parliament Voted For The New Government

Prishtina, Dec 3, 2004 – The 120-seat Parliament of Kosovo voted today with 72 votes to three for the 36-year-old chairman of the Alliance for the Future of Kosova (AAK) and former UÇK leader, Ramush Haradinaj, to head the new Kosovo Government for the next period.

Ibrahim Rugova (LDK) was reelected the President of the country.

The formation of the new government follows a coalition deal struck nearly two weeks ago between the Democratic League of Kosovo’s President Ibrahim Rugova, the winner of the province’s general elections, and the much smaller Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, led by Haradinaj, which came in third.

In todays voting members of the second-biggest party, the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), led by another former UÇK leader, abstained.

Accepting his appointment, Mr Haradinaj told parliament: “My government in the next term will be engaged in the realisation of the demands of the international community for the implementation of democratic standards in Kosovo.”

Soren Jessen-Petersen, the top U.N. official in Kosovo, congratulated the new elected officials and called on them to make Kosovo “a better place for all its inhabitants.”

“The next 12 months will be crucial in determining the future of Kosovo,” Jessen-Petersen, told the lawmakers during the session. “The work of the Assembly, the government coalition, as well as parliamentary opposition, will determine … whether Kosovo succeeds or fails.”

In an interview to KosovaLive the chief of United States Office in Prishtina (USOP), Philip Goldberg said that the voting went according to constitution and the procedures. He said that he is looking forward to work closely with the new governmental cabinet.

The new Kosovo government is likely to represent the country in talks aimed at resolving its final status. Negotiations are expected to begin in mid-2005 if there is progress by then in improving governance, the economy and human rights.