Former Kosovo premier wants to force early polls
Kosovo's former premier, now opposition leader Ramush Haradinaj Thursday promised to take the authorities to court and force parliamentary elections in 2009, in accordance with a UN- brokered plan, reported dpa.
He said he would file a motion with the upcoming constitutional court to force the polls, in line with a plan hammered out for Kosovo by the United Nations envoy Martti Ahtisaari.
Ahtisaari's plan was endorsed by Western nations and used as a blueprint for Kosovo's secession from Serbia last year, although the negotiations he mediated collapsed.
Among other elements, the plan envisaged parliamentary elections within nine months of the secession of Kosovo from Serbia and the deployment of a European Union law-enforcing mission.
Pristina declared independence from Belgrade on February 17 and the EU mission, Eulex, deployed late in 2008. Nevertheless, President Fatmir Sejdiu recently said there would be no early polls, with the parliamentary mandate expiring in 2011.
Haradinaj, who resigned as prime minister in 2005 to stand trial at UN's war crimes tribunal in The Hague - where he was cleared in 2008 - accused the authorities of "systemic corruption."
"The entire Kosovo administration is a failure," Haradinaj said in an interview with Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa in Pristina.
A former Kosovo Albanian rebel chief who fought Serbian security forces and is wanted as a criminal by Belgrade, Haradinaj said he would not call his supporters to protest and would wait for the ruling of the constitutional court, due to be launched only in April.
Western diplomats in Pristina - 53 nations have recognized Kosovo over the past 11 months, including the US and most EU countries - say that the internal strife currently embroiling Sejdiu's Democratic League of Kosovo explains his reluctance to go to the polls.
They also estimate that the controversial Haradinaj would have a good shot at re-claiming the post, amid widespread economic hardship in Kosovo. dpa ey bb jbl