Kosovo’s top court rules against early elections

Kurti's supporters gathered in the centre of Pristina in a socially-distanced protest ahead of the ruling.

Kosovo's top court on Thursday rejected outgoing PM Albin Kurti's call for snap polls after his coalition collapsed, and backed a presidential decree asking his rivals to form a new government, news wires reported.

Kurti's government was dismissed on 25 March after less than two months in office, following disagreements with its main partner, the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic and removal of tariffs on Serbian goods.

While Kurti called for early elections, his rival President Hashim Thaci nominated the party that finished second in the October poll to form a new government right away. Thaci on 30 April nominated former deputy prime minister and a past finance minister Avdullah Hoti of the center-right LDK to replace Kurti as prime minister.

"The biggest political party does not have the exclusivity to propose the candidate of the prime minister to form the government," the court said in its verdict. It said Kurti's left-wing Vetevendosje did not have the "authority to block the formation of a government within an election cycle."

The US special envoy for Serbia and Kosovar peace negotiations Richard Grenell urged all parties to respect the court’s decision “to ensure peace and stability -- and uphold the integrity of Kosovo’s justice system.”

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