No one can be above the law and no one can treat the system of justice as unilateral, said President of Kosovo Atifete Jahjaga at the consecutive meeting of the National Anti-Corruption Council, on the subject of “Elections and Corruption”, Friday, in Prishtina.
She said that fighting of corruption still remains one of the greatest hindrances in advancing towards Euro-Atlantic integrations, and justice system remains the most important chain of this process.
According to her, Kosovo has entered an important stage of its statehood, in which, alongside its international consolidation, we are endeavouring to build a society with democratic values, based upon the respect of rule and law.
“By establishing principles for a state of law we are dedicating ourselves to zero tolerance for negative phenomena in the country, in particular the organised crime and corruption, making it clear that we will win this war. Now it is time that this dedication of ours produces results through full implementation of the laws and practices we have built so far,” she said.
Jahjaga said it is only natural that our citizens are requesting accountability from us and to see the leadership in us, because their future depends from our joint results from the war against corruption and organised crime and that the future of our country depends from our joint endeavours.
“We must return the trust of our citizens in institutions, and to provide accountability for our governance. This trust is achieved by guaranteeing that rights and freedoms of our citizens, anywhere in Kosovo, will not be violated by crime,” she said.
According to her, Kosovo does not have much time to lose because the Euro-Atlantic integrations processes depend on ourselves; our will, work and our engagement to demonstrate that we are ready and brave enough to undertake the most important steps for our state and our society. We have held many meetings, drafted many laws, looked for many ways to establish the principle of zero tolerance on corruption, but we have not as yet shown sufficient results in this field.
“… I consider as absolutely necessary the fact of institutional joint activity, harmonisation and coordination in our society of the activities to raise not only the level of awareness but also of direct activities for a irreversible process of eradication of corruption and organised crime,” she said.
Kosovo has shown that it is willing to undertake the reforms in judiciary, one of the most important chains of our statehood, but it remains upon us to translate the advances in this field into concrete and measurable results. Justice must be completely independent, without political influence but professionally able and ready to act at any time for the benefit of the citizens and of the state in general.
According to her, Kosovo today is at a stage when we require more work and action to show not only the readiness but also the efficiency of the prevention of corruption at the electoral process as well.
“I consider that the standard determined by our society of last local elections must be demonstrated this time as well, at the June 8th elections, guaranteeing a democratic, comprehensive process, with full guarantees for the vote of each citizen, wherever they may reside. I have asked European Union to send an election observing mission, a request approved by EU, who will be monitoring the pre-term parliamentary elections,” Jahjaga said..
She acknowledged that we will be going to the new polls with an old law.
“Political parties represented at the Parliament of Kosovo, by now dissolved, have commenced the electoral reform but did not manage to complete it. Electoral reform would have helped improve the legislation and establishment of a better electoral climate, in congruence with the highest international norms and in accordance with our aspiration of European integrations, and also fulfil one of the conditions on this path,” she added.
However deficient the existing law might be, Jahjaga said that Kosovo has demonstrated that we can organise and hold internationally acceptable elections, as was the case with the 2013 municipal elections, held on the whole territory of the Republic of Kosovo.
“We have demonstrated that key to success for the defence of the right of the citizens to elect and be elected is inter-institutional mobilisation. We have shown to the citizens and international community that democratic functioning of our institutions defends the fundamental rights and punishes those who dare to touch the foundations of our state, a state of equal citizens which guarantees the rights of each citizen, civic liberties and equality in front of the law.
At last municipal elections, law enforcement, prosecution and judicial bodies have shown an improvement in apprehension and punishing of the individuals who have attempted to interfere with the freedom of the vote through corruptive methods.,” President Atifete Jahjaga said.