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  Kosovo Ex-PM Albin Kurti Barred from Running in Election
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ContributorBojicat 
Last EditedBojicat  Jan 26, 2021 05:42pm
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AuthorBalkan Insight
News DateTuesday, January 26, 2021 08:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionKosovo’s election complaints panel barred former Prime Minister Albin Kurti, leader of the Vetevendosje party, from running for parliament in February’s elections because he was convicted of a crime under three years ago.

Kosovo’s Election Complaints and Appeals Panel decided on Tuesday that former premier Albin Kurti, leader of the country’s largest opposition party, Vetevendosje (Self-Determination), is not allowed to run as a candidate in the parliamentary elections on February 14.

Kurti was barred because he was found guilty of a criminal offence less than three years ago. Four other Vetevendosje members – Albulena Haxhiu, Liburn Aliu, Bajram Mavriqi, and Labinote Demi Murtezi – were also barred from running as candidates for the same reason.

Former prime minister Kurti and former justice minister Haxhiu were given suspended prison sentences by a Pristina court in January 2018 for setting off tear gas in parliament.

The MPs set off the tear gas in protest against plans to ratify a controversial deal to demarcate the border with neighbouring Montenegro, which they claimed deprived Kosovo of some land, and to establish an autonomous association of Serb-majority municipalities in Kosovo.

People who have been found guilty of a criminal offence in the last three years are not eligible to stand for parliament, according to Kosovo’s Law on General Elections.

The Election Complaints and Appeals Panel also did not certify 12 candidates from the Social Democratic Initiative, NISMA, a current governing coalition partner, and four candidates from the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, AAK.

All of those who have been barred from standing can appeal against the decision to the Supreme Court.
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