As the leaders of both Kosovo and Serbia game the West – by feigning a commitment to the EU Dialogue that neither intends to honour – it is time the West came up with a master plan.
On May 10th, the ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK, led by President Hashim Thaci, terminated its unloved coalition with the Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, using the opposition’s no-confidence vote against the government led by the LDK leader, Isa Mustafa, to accomplish that. The vote set the stage for early elections to be held before the summer break.
But the calculations behind the PDK’s move to seek voters’ support at this time remain hidden from the public.
Analysts point to the Special Court’s upcoming publication of its first indictments whose primary targets are expected to include a number of top officials from the PDK. They insist that Thaci’s recent unsuccessful push for a Kosovo army was aimed at weakening the LDK ahead of early elections.
Whatever the rationale, snap elections will affect the EU-led dialogue with Serbia on normalisation of relations that was launched in 2011, three years after Kosovo declared independence from Serbia, which Belgrade has not recognized.
A change in government in Kosovo, even if coalition building proceeds unexpectedly smoothly, combined with Serbia’s presidential elections held earlier this spring – and Germany’s parliamentary elections this autumn – is almost certain to lead to de facto suspension of the Dialogue for the remainder of 2017 – the fourth year lost since the signing of the April 2013 Agreement.