The Kosovo Prime Minister, Ramush Haradinaj dismissed the Minister of Local Government Administration, from the ranks of Srpska Lista, Ivan Todosijevic because of his speech during a ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the NATO bombing. Haradinaj stated that he reached this decision because of Todosijevic’s hate speech. Following the dismissal of two Serbian ministers, Todosijevic and Rikalo, only one Serbian minister remains in the Kosovo government – the Minister of Communities and Returns, Dalibor Jevtic.
Both Kosovo and Serbian officials reacted to Todosijevic’s dismissal. While the former support this decision with the allegation that „fascist discourse has no place in the government“, the latter, primarily Srpska Lista, condemned Todosijevic’s dismissal, assessing it as „an attack and continuation of the pressure by Albanian leaders.“
Todosijevic was dismissed today after a report by the Voice of America pointed out that the Deputy Minister of Justice of Kosovo, Vesna Mikic was recently dismissed due to her similar attitudes about the NATO bombing, while Todosijevic was not, raising the question whether it was a case of discrimination against women.
In this report, attorney Edward Gashi said that Kosovo Prime Minister, Ramush Haradinaj committed discrimination by dismissing Vesna Mikic because “in a democratic society, everyone has the right to his own opinion.” Gashi added that the Kosovo Prime Minister should “clean up his act.”
Srpska Lista assessed Todosijevic’s dismissal as “Pristina’s unwillingness to face the past.”
On the other hand, the largest Kosovo Serb party said that the „attacks“ on the two dismissed ministers, Todosijevic and Nenad Rikalo, as well as the Deputy Minister Vesna Mikic, shows the readiness of certain Serbs „to betray their own people for a handful of euros.“
According to Srpska Lista, the dismissals are “ethnic intolerance and human rights violation,” as well as “an attempt to appoint obedient people, who were already called by their real name – the private Serbs of Kosovo Albanians – instead of legal Serb representatives.”
„We would be more concerned if our representatives in Pristina receive pats on the back rather than dismissals because of their loyalty to their people and their country“
The Kosovo Office shared the opinion of Srpska Lista.
„Haradinaj exclusively needs obedient Serbs,“ the Kosovo Office wrote in a statement, emphasizing:
„Haradinaj will probably find another private Serb who will serve a decorative purpose in his government, but such a Serb will certainly not have the legitimacy, reputation, and support of the Serbian people in Kosovo or in the Republic of Serbia.“
On the other hand, Kosovo Deputy Prime Minister, Enver Hoxhaj and the President of the Kosovo Assembly, Kadri Veseli shared their support of Haradinaj’s decision to dismiss Todorovic, underlining that there is no place for the „fascist discourse of Srpska Lista“ and „hate speech“ in the Kosovo institutions.
Speaking about Todosijevic’s speech, Veseli further claimed that such statements have “a single source – (the Serbian President) Aleksandar Vucic” all with the aim to “trigger tensions in the Balkans and Kosovo.“
Veseli also urged the EU to react to „those provocations initiated by Serbia and Vucic.“
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