Protesters supporting Kosovo’s ruling Self-Determination Movement, or Vetevendosje!, took to the streets of Pristina, the capital, Thursday to oppose President Hashim Thaci's nominee to be the country’s new prime minister after the Constitutional Court upheld his decree for the nomination.
A poster read “We want elections,” and a banner said, "On the side of justice, not the president."
Arlind Manxhuka, a spokesperson for Vetevendosje!, said the peaceful gathering of a few thousand supporters was intended to show the party's ability to organize a protest while respecting coronavirus pandemic restrictions.
"Taking into consideration the many requests we received from activists and citizens to organize a protest against the latest political developments in our country [Kosovo], we felt obligated to demonstrate a way in which an eventual protest could be held in this new condition of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Thaci nominated Avdullah Hoti, from the center-right Democratic League of Kosovo, or LDK, to replace acting Prime Minister Albin Kurti, who lost a no-confidence vote in March. That vote was spurred by the LDK, then a junior partner in governing coalition with Vetevendosje!
The movement argues Hoti’s nomination to form a new government is unconstitutional, saying that it is the only party entitled to do so because it won the most seats in Kosovo's October parliamentary election. It has further said that if it cannot form a government, the country should hold new elections.
The LDK says it has at least the 61 votes in the 120-seat parliament, required for his confirmation.
Kosovo's Constitutional Court had suspended the nomination decree until May 29.