Kosovo court orders President to step down
Pristina: Kosovo President Behgjet Pacolli was ordered to vacate his post on Wednesday, with the Constitutional Court ruling that his election violated the country`s charter since he was the only candidate.
The legislature will hold a new session and present at least two presidential candidates. If no candidate is elected by the third round of the vote, then Parliament must be dissolved and a new general election called.
The nine-member court said in its ruling the February 22 vote in the Parliament giving Pacolli the presidency "was unconstitutional and shall no longer be in force”.
The court said more than one candidate for the presidency was required for an election to be valid and at least two-thirds of parliament`s 120 lawmakers had to be present. Only 67 lawmakers were present at the vote, because most opposition members walked out in protest over the nomination.
The presidency is largely a ceremonial post, with most powers residing in the Prime Minister`s office, but the President can dissolve Parliament.
Hours before receiving the court ruling, Pacolli said he would run for office again.
"If there is space to be nominated again, then I will run," Pacolli said.
Pacolli`s party is part of the governing coalition led by Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, who said he wants "a quick solution in Parliament" next week.
Kosovo, a tiny landlocked Balkan nation of around 2 million people, gained independence in 2008 when it unilaterally seceded from Serbia. Pacolli, a 59-year-old multimillionaire businessman, was the country`s second president.
Parliamentary Speaker Jakup Krasniqi will take over as acting president. Krasniqi also temporarily replaced Pacolli`s predecessor, Fatmir Sejdiu, who was forced to resign after the same court found he violated the Constitution by holding the post of President and chair of his political party at the same time.
Pacolli said he advised his party members to remain in the coalition, saying the country cannot afford a political rift in what he said was "a very delicate moment”.
"We have a problem with Kosovo`s image, we have an economic problem," Pacolli said. "Really, we don`t need any crisis at this moment."
Kosovo`s leaders were dealt a severe blow after a European investigator accused Thaci and other former rebels of trafficking human organs and leading a mafia-like organisation.
Kosovo and Serbia are holding a series of meetings supervised by the European Union that are aimed at overcoming their disputes. Serbia has rejected Kosovo`s independence declaration and led a campaign to press other nations not to recognise Kosovo.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- One year of Modi govt: PM promises to fulfil aspirations
- Watch: Mumbai cops find new secret agents in housewives!
- Hundreds die as heat wave continues in India
- 2G scam: Ex-TRAI chief alleges Manmohan Singh had warned him to cooperate
- Pranab Mukherjee defends Bofors scam, says it was just a media trial
- Salman Khan attends sister Arpita's wedding reception in Mandi
- Zee Media's mega survey on Modi govt
- Zee Media Exclusive: Vidya Balan chats about 'Hamari Adhuri Kahani'
- Para athlete Deepa Malik complains of callous service by Air India
- Smriti Irani visits Amethi, promises to pay insurance money to 25,000 women
- One year of Modi govt: Amit Shah addresses media
- I eat beef, can somebody stop me?: Kiren Rijiju hits back at Naqvi
- Delhi: Visually impaired boy scores 91.4% in CBSE 12th Board exams
- BBV: What challenges lie ahead of Modi govt?
- MP: 14-year-old boy works as bonded labour since 2009
- One year of NDA govt: PM Modi writes open letter to nation, promises to transform India
- Arpita-Aayush wedding reception: Salman Khan spreads love in Mandi, says `hum aapke hain`
- World optimistic about India: PM Narendra Modi on 1 year of NDA govt
- MSBSHSE Class 12th HSC results 2015 to be declared at 1pm tomorrow
- Bharatiya Janata Party lacks majority for Ram Temple, Article 370: Amit Shah
- Rahul Gandhi takes a dig at one year of Modi govt, wishes 'happy birthday' to 'suit-boot ki sarkar'
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 (cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in) postponed?
- AAP govt moves resolution against MHA notification: As it happened
- Check mahresult.nic.in for MSBSHSE Maharashtra Class 12 HSC Result 2015
- Maharashtra MSBSHSE HSC Result 2015 on mahresult.nic.in
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 to be announced on May 28
- Heatwave kills 90 more in Andhra, Telangana; toll crosses 800
- UBSE Results 2015 (ubse.uk.gov.in): Uttarakhand 12th Result 2015 to be announced today at 11 AM
- Gujjars adamant on holding talks in Bayana; rail tracks remain blocked
- CBSE 10th result to be declared tomorrow