Sunday, May 07, 2006

Pristina welcomes positive technical assessment of standards

Kosovo daily Zëri reports on the leading front-page story that Kosovo institutions and opposition parties have welcomed UNMIK’s positive technical assessment of standards implementation during the period 20 December 200530 April 2006. “The opposition assesses that it has noticed the changes for the democratic functioning of institutions, especially in the Kosovo Assembly, whilst the Government pledges to continue its work in standards implementation and in the fight against corruption and organized crime,” the paper notes in the subheader. Following are some quotes by leaders that were highlighted in the paper:

Assembly Speaker Kolë Berisha: “We are glad that Mr. Søren Jessen-Petersen, the most competent person for evaluating the situation in Kosovo, has such a positive assessment for the work of Kosovo institutions. This is an impetus for us, for me personally, for the Prime Minister and for the President.” He said the assessment is part of the successful work Kosovo institutions are performing which is also a credit of the SRSG and other international officials working in Kosovo. Berisha, in this respect, mentioned the contribution of the U.S. Office in Pristina and its head Phillip Goldberg. “We are not seeking embellishment but a reality,” said Berisha speaking about the technical assessment.

Government Standards Coordinator Avni Arifi said the Kosovo Government is highly committed to the implementation of standards and noted that it is important all citizens of Kosovo and the opposition force be included in the process. “We have another month and a half before the session of the SC and the message of the Prime

Minister is clear that there is no room for self-praise but that there should be an even greater effort so that we have even better results in that meeting,” Arifi told Zëri. He also said that the Government will fight corruption. “The Çeku Government is a strong ally of the law and we are working in strengthening the anti-corruption mechanisms and to produce results against corruption”.

PDK Secretary General Jakup Krasniqi said that the changes in the Assembly’s leadership have been positive but not overly satisfying. “There are substantial changes even though early in the year we asked for weekly sessions, chance for greater debate and opportunity for questions to the government officials but this has not materialized as yet,” Krasniqi said. “We as the opposition notice the changes and we can say that we give a positive note to the government for this”, he added. He did not dispute the progress in implementation of standards but “as far as functioning of the Government and rule of law and budget use, we cannot say there is implementation of standards when the majority of population is unemployed and over 50% are on the threshold of poverty,” Krasniqi said further. He reiterated that the corruption and political and economic crime remain unpunished and that Kosovo Government has serious flaws.

On the technical assessment of standards prepared by UNMIK, Krasniqi said,

“UNMIK makes superlative assessments because it is also part of these changes. I repeat, UNMIK assesses its own work in these reports.”

Senior member of ORA Nazim Jashari said the party is happy for the good reports on Kosovo. He said these are good signals for the process Kosovo is undergoing presently. “In the practical aspect of functioning of life and standard implementation as well as work of institutions, I don’t think there are major changes,” Jashari said. He said a greater sign of commitment is noted in the statements of PM Çeku who seems to mean what he says about the changes in the work of the Government and said he hoped Çeku’s aims come true.

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