Viewing cable 08PRISTINA11
Title: KOSOVO: BROAD-BASED, MULTI-ETHNIC GOVERNMENT

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
08PRISTINA112008-01-10 17:27:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Pristina
VZCZCXRO8983
OO RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHPS #0011/01 0101727
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 101727Z JAN 08
FM USOFFICE PRISTINA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7896
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 1362
RHMFISS/CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK PRIORITY
RHFMISS/AFSOUTH NAPLES IT PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDR TF FALCON PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEPGEA/CDR650THMIGP SHAPE BE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUFOANA/USNIC PRISTINA SR PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 PRISTINA 000011 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR DRL, INL, AND EUR/SCE, NSC FOR BRAUN, USUN FOR 
DREW SCHUFLETOWSKI, USOSCE FOR STEVE STEGER 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/09/2018 
TAGS: PGOV KDEM UNMIK YI KV
SUBJECT: KOSOVO: BROAD-BASED, MULTI-ETHNIC GOVERNMENT 
APPROVED IN KOSOVO 
 
Classified By: COM TINA KAIDANOW FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D). 
 
¶1. (C) SUMMARY:  On January 9 the newly constituted Kosovo 
Assembly, reflecting the coalition agreement between the PDK 
and LDK parties, overwhelmingly elected PDK leader Hashim 
Thaci as Prime Minister and approved his cabinet by 88 votes 
out of a total 120.  Thaci got an extra boost as Bexhet 
Pacolli's New Kosovo Alliance (AKR) party, in the opposition, 
also voted in favor of the new government.  The Assembly, on 
the third ballot and by simple majority vote, also re-elected 
President Sejdiu to a new five-year mandate by a fairly good 
margin (68/120); Sejdiu was not able to get the required 
two-thirds majority needed to win on either of the first two 
ballots.  The Assembly also approved PDK Secretary General 
Jakup Krasniqi as Assembly Speaker.  The seven-hour long 
proceedings were remarkably orderly and calm, but not without 
some drama -- Ramush Haradinaj's AAK party, disgruntled at 
being left out of government, challenged Sejdiu by putting up 
its own candidate for president.  Its deputy chairman also 
bitterly criticized the PDK-LDK coalition as "unnatural and 
contradictory." 
 
¶2.  (C) SUMMARY (cont'd):  Hashim Thaci, whose burning desire 
always has been to be prime minister, is facing more than he 
bargained for:  the daunting task of leading Kosovo through 
what will likely be the most important chapter in its modern 
history.  He made an auspicious beginning in handing two 
serious ministries to Serbs and one more to a Turk, and he 
made a point of reaching out to Serbs in his acceptance 
speech at the session.  Several members of his cabinet are 
well and favorably known to us; we will work to maintain 
those relationships and develop new ones, such as with 
little-known Energy Minister Pula-Shiroka.  END SUMMARY. 
 
Some Surprises, But Proceedings Generally Calm, Orderly 
 
¶3. (C) Coming out of the November 17 central elections, the 
Kosovo Assembly elected its Speaker and Presidency along with 
Kosovo's President, Prime Minister, and government during a 
marathon seven-hour session on January 9.  (Septels contain 
bios of PM Thaci, Assembly Speaker Krasniqi, and the new 
ministers.)  The session began two hours late, partly because 
of the need to carefully coordinate the complexities of 
electing Assembly officials, the President, and the 
government in one day, and partly because parties continued 
to hash out their political plans until the last minute.  The 
first vote, 88 to one (out of a total 120 MPs although not 
all were present), easily elected the Assembly Presidency, 
and PDK designated its secretary general, Jakup Krasniqi, as 
Speaker; Krasniqi chaired the remainder of the session. 
(NOTE: Per Kosovo's Constitutional Framework (CF), the 
Assembly Presidency consists of eight members - two each from 
the top two parties (PDK's Krasniqi and Xhavit Haliti and 
LDK's Eqrem Kryeziu and Sabri Hamiti), one each from the next 
two largest parties (AKR's Ibrahim Gashi and LDD president 
Nexhat Daci), one Serb (to be determined), and one non-Serb 
minority (rotating).  Because it came in fifth in the 
elections, Ramush Haradinaj's AAK did not earn a seat on the 
Presidency.  END NOTE.) 
 
¶4. (C) As planned, Speaker Krasniqi then announced President 
Sejdiu's resignation, required before he could stand for 
re-election, and Eqrem Kryeziu nominated Sejdiu as the 
coalition's candidate for President of Kosovo.  In a surprise 
move previewed to us only hours before, AAK chose to nominate 
a counter-candidate, AAK second vice president Naim Maloku, 
with 25 MP signatures as required by the CF.  The very act of 
doing this was a significant challenge to Sejdiu, since a 
two-thirds vote is necessary for election of the President on 
the first two ballots; a third ballot can be won by a simple 
majority of 61 votes.  (COMMENT: The AAK's motivation was 
likely retaliation for Sejdiu and the LDK "abandoning" them 
and joining up with PDK.  END COMMENT.) 
 
Sejdiu Wins on Third Ballot 
 
¶5. (C) In the first round of voting, 62 voted for Sejdiu, 37 
 
PRISTINA 00000011  002 OF 003 
 
 
for Maloku, and 16 voided their ballots.  In the second 
round, Sejdiu lost one vote, earning just 61, and 17 were 
invalid.  Krasniqi called for a break after the second round, 
during which the LDK, PDK, and AAK caucuses met privately. 
After re-convening, Sejdiu was elected with 68 votes, a 
comfortable margin for a convincing mandate.  (COMMENT: From 
the vote, it was apparent that not all PDK and LDK MPs 
supported Sejdiu.  Within LDK there are MPs resentful that 
they did not receive ministerial posts, while some in the PDK 
still oppose the whole notion of coalition with the LDK. 
During the pause, USOP COM and poloff met with key LDK and 
PDK MPs to remind them of what was at stake if Kosovo ended 
the day without a President or a government, a move that 
helped break the logjam in the third round of voting.  END 
COMMENT.) 
 
Thaci Government Overwhelmingly Elected 
 
¶6. (C) The rest of the session went according to plan. 
President Sejdiu nominated Thaci for Prime Minister and 
invited him to present his cabinet nominees and program. 
After he did so, individual delegates took the floor to 
comment on or criticize the proposed coalition.  Most 
opposition members took a reasonably positive approach, with 
AKR's Pacolli saying he would support Thaci "because the 
people of Kosovo voted for him," and LDD's Besa Gaxherri 
promising to be constructive on matters of national interest. 
 However, AAK's acting president Ahmet Isufi, perhaps in an 
unwise bid to justify challenging Sejdiu earlier in the day, 
was uncharacteristically and surprisingly shrill in his 
denunciation of both LDK and PDK, calling LDK's "abandonment" 
of the AAK "an insult."  Even other AAK members speaking 
after him seemed to realize this was a mistake and were more 
conciliatory.  Serb MP Slobodan Petrovic, leader of the Serb 
Independent Liberal Party (SLS) and part of the LDK/PDK 
coalition, made a commendable speech, acknowledging that 
while he and his party could not share the goal of 
independence for Kosovo, it was a mistake for Kosovo Serbs to 
stand outside the governing institutions; he congratulated 
Sejdiu and Thaci and pledged to help make the new government 
a success.  After various interventions, the vote proceeded 
on the new government: 85 in favor, 22 against.  (NOTE: In a 
welcome move, Pacolli's AKR voted in favor of the new 
government; in a less welcome move, LDK's irascible Melihate 
Termkolli alone joined the rest of the opposition in voting 
against.  END NOTE.) 
 
Thaci Promises To Be PM For All Kosovars 
 
¶7.  (U)  In his various interventions during the day, Thaci 
repeatedly pledged to govern on behalf of all citizens of 
Kosovo, regardless of ethnicity, and during his acceptance 
speech spoke a few sentences in Serbian, assuring Serbs that 
they continued to have a home in Kosovo and asserting the 
right of all displaced Serbs to return to Kosovo and live in 
peace and security. 
 
COMMENT 
 
¶8. (C) Despite some tense moments, the new Assembly's first 
real day of work was an unqualified success, and a 
broad-based, multi-ethnic government is now in place in 
Kosovo.  The entire day was conducted, despite the political 
drama, in a calm, orderly fashion in line with UNMIK and 
international democratic standards.  SRSG Ruecker summed up 
international feeling when he, as the last to address the 
Assembly, said that Kosovo had again demonstrated it was 
"ready for the next level". 
 
¶9.  (C) COMMENT (cont'd): That said, PM Thaci will have his 
hands full as he leads Kosovo at probably the most important 
period in its modern history -- the final lap to 
independence.  The cabinet he has assembled contains several 
names well and favorably known to us, but others -- some in 
key ministries -- are almost complete unknowns, including new 
Energy Minister Pula-Shiroka.  We will engage at all levels 
to help bring the new government up to full capability as 
 
PRISTINA 00000011  003 OF 003 
 
 
quickly as possible, and also to articulate major priorities, 
including preparation of the draft constitution and Ahtisaari 
legislative measures.  End comment. 
KAIDANOW