OpEd

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It would be nothing extraordinary for Kosovo to hold early elections again. The insistence that these be held in the summer is no coincidence: the reason is the diaspora and the large number of people who will be in Kosovo during the summer holidays. This, thus making the diaspora perhaps the main decision-maker in determining the final numbers that will be collected in the ballot boxes

You may find the title of this column surprising. 

There is nothing spectacular hidden behind it, except for the meticulous evidence of the writings that have been published under this title in the last 19 years.

I had started with shorter writings due to the need to express an opinion or a very personal attitude about the phenomenon of living in Kosovo after the war and before Independence. The writings became a kind of ritual, of concentrating and summarizing the events that seemed to me the most prominent and that had marked the previous week. Sometimes there would be a return to the past and the evocation of memories from the most difficult phase, which many of us were lucky enough to survive, the war, and sometimes it would be some writing related to some character or event. The essence of this whole mental exercise was that I wrote and write the columns with full awareness, taking full responsibility for them.

I know that among the many readers of KOŠA there are those who follow them carefully (thank you very much!), but also those who choose not to open the texts at all. Very legitimate and completely in line with the freedom of expression on which these columns were built.

CoE

The news of the week was undoubtedly the approval of the report on Kosovo by the Committee for Political Affairs and Democracy of the Council of Europe.

This marked the first step towards Kosovo's membership in this body. Next is the vote in the Parliamentary Assembly (on April 16), where two-thirds of the votes are required, i.e. 204 out of 306 votes of the representatives of 46 states. If it passes here, then it must be approved by the Committee of Ministers of the member states in May 2024. 

According to the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kreshnik Ahmeti, "...this report recommends Kosovo's membership in the Council of Europe without any additional preconditions. None of the commitments that Kosovo must undertake are required to be fulfilled before membership. Even in point 11 it is clearly stated that the pledge must be addressed after membership. All the proposals to set new preconditions have been rejected by the majority of the Committee members, which shows that Kosovo should become a member in May of this year and the new preconditions would be unfair. Moreover, the opinion requires the removal of the footnote from the name of Kosovo, a footnote which has been used since 2008 in every report and communication on and with Kosovo... Also, it is recommended that Kosovo be invited as a state (state), according to the article 4 of the Statute of KiE, and not as a country, according to Article 5".

If this goal is realized, it will be perhaps the only success of Kosovar diplomacy in terms of recognition or even membership in international bodies in the three years of this government's mandate.

Hamza

And while we were waiting for the news from Strasbourg, the PDK made an interesting political move and nominated Bedri Hamza as the candidate for prime minister in the upcoming elections. The reactions were mostly positive, considering Hamza as a successful Minister of Finance, as well as a successful mayor of Mitrovica. It was an unprecedented step in PDK, when the chairman of the party is not nominated. But this does not mean that Hamza could not be elected chairman of the PDK when it comes to the internal party elections.

The opposition continues to insist that the elections should be held as soon as possible and demands Kurti's resignation. He, on the other hand, declared that he would offer his party's votes to dissolve the Assembly, if the opposition took the initiative, but he refused to resign. 

Now it seems that the issue of early elections or not will be a matter of negotiations for voting on international agreements, which the opposition stubbornly continues not to vote on, as well as laws that the government is unable to pass because the people inside the GP of VV itself opposes them, in the name of protecting the family.

In any case, it would be nothing extraordinary for Kosovo to hold early elections again. The insistence that these be held in the summer is no coincidence: the reason is the diaspora and the large number of people who will be in Kosovo during the summer holidays. This, thus making the diaspora perhaps the main decision-maker in determining the final numbers that will be collected in the ballot boxes.

The advantage of early elections is the shortening of the election campaign. The bad thing is that the short campaign will not give us the opportunity to listen and see election programs, which are supposed to serve the citizens to decide who to vote for. If they give it to him.

Krusa

The third featured news of the week was the one about the opening of the Massacre Museum in Krushë i Madhe, Rahovec. 
The largest village of this municipality and without a doubt the village that suffered the most in terms of people in this territory hit hard by the war became the Museum of the memory of the most tragic event it had experienced. It was not by chance that the graves of those whose remains were found were raised.

The following is the description given by KOĖA's journalist, Shaban Maxharraj, on the day of the Museum's inauguration:

"Exhibits of civilians killed along with the stories behind them in the Museum are numerous. There are also those of families that have been completely extinguished. The inaugurated museum is a brutalist style building, which suits the whole concept. It is curated by professors from the University of Pristina in collaboration with the residents. The investment of the Municipality of Rahovec is undoubtedly one of the most valuable that this institution has made in relation to the memory of those who were killed by Serbian forces, except because they were Albanians. The narrative within the concrete blocks begins with Kruša e Madhe, as a village of working people. A brief history unfolds of the days when the large settlement was teeming with young people who worked and studied, even though under apartheid measures from Serbia. Visitors then enter the terrifying days of March 25, 26 and 27. The village counts 220 civilians killed. Of them, over 100 burned in two crematoriums. Among them are 7 children and five women. A pregnant one. When 21 martyrs are added to this number, Krusha e Madhe counts 241 people killed in the last war. Material damage affects millions.

It took a quarter of a century to create such an institution, even in a place in Kosovo (not counting Nonna Ferdonije's house, which she herself turned into a museum). Better late than never. But, precisely a fact like this shows the collective carelessness of the Kosovars - how long it took to collect the artifacts and memories in a large museum, in Gjakovë perhaps, and it was called the War Museum. The quarter of a century has taken many survivors along the way and destroyed the remaining memories, because they were not preserved as they could have been preserved. It's not too late yet. Unless there is a will.

Council of "ethics"

The council of shame would have to be. 

The names of the members of this Council are not found on the website of the UP, so I do not know how many there are, nor who these people are, who, whenever there is a complaint of harassment, put their ears in the wool and do not deal with it at all. complaints. Either they are taken after the pressure becomes great, or they are taken just for the eyes and cheeks.
The first time we heard about this council was in the case of Professor Bekim Bejta, who had been presented for unacceptable behavior since 2016. Denounced again in 2023, the Ethics Council banned him from mentoring, but did not remove him from the teaching process. Only after the publication of audio-recordings in KTV, where derogatory language was heard, the Senate suspended him. He decided to resign and escaped any eventual punishment.

The last one is the 27th case (that is, TWENTY SEVEN) of presentations for unacceptable language and harassment against the professor at the Faculty of Education, Xhevat Krasniqi. KOHA reported on the case three weeks ago, and the Ethics Council only a few days ago started dealing with the case, but without inviting any whistleblower to an interview, despite the fact that the internal regulations stipulate that the interviews be conducted within five days. 

Why does this Council exist if its purpose is to protect law breakers and not to provide justice to injured parties? 

I believe that because of the mentality that leads this country, the patriarchal mentality, which instead of getting weaker every day, gets more power, because that is what the politics that leads to power demands.

* * *

The week ended with the news that the mayor of Pristina had gone back on his words given in the campaign, that he would no longer allow high-rise buildings in Pristina on the grounds that there was neither room nor need for them. That's roughly what he said. However, we understood that he would soon vote on the regulation plan for the area where the bus station is located. The construction there will go up to 20 floors, because it is said that the land is municipal property. 

It will be interesting to see if the plan passes, and if it does, why. For any possible land exchange? The series has just started. It will be interesting.

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