Monday, December 19, 2005

Press coverage on upcoming establishment of two new ministries

One of the leading stories in the daily press today is the upcoming creation of the two ministries – the Ministry of Interior Affairs and the Ministry of Justice.

According to Koha Ditore, the signing of the administrative regulation for the creation of the new ministries is expected to occur today. In the lead front page headline, Koha Ditore reports that “the battle for the appointment of the ministers begins – 20 December is the deadline to submit names”.

According to the paper, the LDK will decide what ministry it will take and which it will leave to the AAK. The LDK, notes the paper, will also get more posts of deputy ministers and advisors in the two new ministries.

Zëri quotes officials of the Kosovo Government as saying that all preparations have been made for the signing of the regulation for the two new ministries; in fact senior government officials expect this to happen today.

Ramadan Qehaja, advisor for security to Prime Minister Kosumi, told Koha Ditore that the regulation would be signed on Monday.

On the other hand, Zëri quotes UNMIK spokesman Remi Dourlot as saying, “We have said that the signing of the regulation will be done before the end of this week, and maybe even before Wednesday. However, I cannot confirm if it will be done on Monday.”

Under the front page headline, Disagreement over the Ministers, Express reports that the AAK claims an agreement has been reached with the LDK for the allocation of the two ministries – that the AAK would get the Ministry of Interior while the Justice Ministry would go to the LDK. The LDK, on the other hand, denies any existing agreement.

Express also quotes Astrit Haraqija, who the paper refers to as member of the LDK Presidency, as saying, “When the coalition government was formed, we agreed that the new ministries that will be formed will belong to us. This is quite clear.”

At the same time, Naim Maloku, member of the AAK presidency, told Express that he believed that there would be talks between the coalition partners. AAK spokesman Ernest Luma said: “We think that the Ministry of Interior Affairs belongs to us. The AAK has the best candidate for Minister.”

Epoka e Re’s headline of the story says, “The race for the minister posts has caused tremors in the LDK-AAK coalition, due to their different positions”. The paper also recalls a quote by UNMIK Pillar I head Jean Dussourd who said that some responsibilities would still remain with the SRSG.

Zëri says Kosovo Serb political representatives have objected to the establishment of the two ministries, saying this in contravention to UNSC Resolution 1244.

Express rounds up its coverage on the issue by saying: “as debates are growing on the issue, there is fear in the United Nations Mission in Kosovo that with the transfer of competencies comes the risk of politicisation of two of the most important ministries.”

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