Kosovo’s New Parliament Starts, Glauk Konjufca Elected Speaker

Kosovo’s new parliament held its first session Monday electing the new speaker, Glauk Konjufca of Vetevendosje!, and his deputies.
It is expected to nominate the country’s new prime minister.
The new parliament comes after the February 14 election in which Albin Kurti’s left-wing Self-Determination Movement, or Vetevendosje!, won the most votes, but the party still needs the votes of non-Serb minority parties to create a new Cabinet. Vetevendosje! won 58 out of the parliament’s 120 seats.
After their swearing-in, the new lawmakers voted to elect the new speaker, Glauk Konjufca of Vetevendosje! with 69 votes, a proposal of Vetevendosje Movement, the largest political party in the history of the country, currently holding 58 seats in the 120-seat parliament.
Saranda Bogujevci from Vetevendosje, Bedri Hamza from PDK and Kujtim Shala from LDK were elected as Deputy Speakers of Parliament, proposed by the three largest parliamentary groups as regulated by law.
Two other Deputy Speakers represent minorities in Kosovo, one coming from Serbs and the other one from other communities represented in Parliament.
Kosovo’s acting president will send to parliament a letter of nomination for Kurti, who Vetevendosje! has designated as prime minister. The parliament may convene again late on Monday.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, a decade after a brutal 1998-1999 war between separatist ethnic Albanian rebels and Serb forces, which ended after a 78-day NATO air campaign that drove Serb troops out and a peacekeeping force moved in.

Most Western nations have recognized Kosovo’s sovereignty, but Serbia and its allies Russia and China don’t. Tensions over Kosovo remain a source of volatility in the Balkans. /argumentum.al