Kosovo was preparing to call a snap poll Tuesday after its top court ruled last year’s election of Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti was unconstitutional, delivering fresh upheaval to the country’s crisis-hit politics.
The constitutional court said the parliamentary vote that installed Hoti in June was invalidated because one of the participating MPs had been convicted of corruption.
“Considering that the Government was not elected according to…the Constitution,” the country’s president now “announces elections, which must be held no later than forty (40) days from the day of their promulgation,” said the verdict published late Monday.
President Vjosa Osmani was expected to invite political parties for “consultations on the date of the early elections,” her office was quoted as telling local media.
Early elections have become routine in Kosovo, wearying a public that has low faith in a political class that seems to lurch from crisis to crisis.
Since the former Serbian province declared independence in 2008, not a single government has finished its full term.
The government of Hoti was voted in after a previous alliance between the left-wing nationalist Vetevendosje party and his centre right LDK collapsed just months after coming into power.
It was Vetevendosje which brought the case to the constitutional court, noting that Etem Arifi, a Roma MP who gave Hoti’s government a slim majority, had been sentenced to 15 months in prison in April 2018 for misusing 26,000 euros through an NGO.
The court found that Arifi’s vote was invalid because “a person convicted of a criminal offence by a final court decision in the last three years” cannot serve in the assembly.