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Kosovar ruling party elected a supporter to media regulator

Kosovar ruling party elected a supporter to media regulator

Local and international media organisations expressed concern on May 24 after Kosovo’s parliament voted Luljeta Aliu-Krasniqi as member of the board of the Independent Media Commission, IMC.

“We regret to see this development, as it runs counter to the process of IMC’s depolitisation that [the ruling Vetevendosje party] VV had started. This election is a major step towards political recapture, in the very same way it was done in the past,” the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom, ECPMF, said in a statement.

Aliu-Krasniqi, in many public appearances on TV debates in recent years, has been seen as supportive of Kosovo’s ruling party, and the ECPMF said that “in no way can she be considered independent”.

“In light of Kosovo’s membership bid, we will immediately initiate exchange with the Council of Europe and PACE to inform them about this unsettling development that will have a major impact on the independence of IMC,” ECPMF said.

Aliu-Krasniqi took the IMC seat with the support of 48 votes in parliament.

Despite Aliu-Krasniqi’s election, the IMC board remains unfunctional because of a lack of enough members to make up a quorum. The vote to elect another board member failed on Wednesday, as none of four male candidates received enough votes from MPs.

The Association of Journalists of Kosovo, AJK, said that the IMC should preserve its political and party independence “in order to carry out the work of monitoring and regulating the audio-visual scene in Kosovo in an unaffected manner”.

“The election of Aliu-Krasniqi goes in contradiction to this effort and could contribute the anti-media climate that this government has created in many cases during last two years,” AJK said.

“The vote by the ruling party, Vetevendosje, of a public advocate of its policies in government openly shows this party’s intent to put independent media institutions under its control,” it added.

The IMC is an independent institution responsible for the regulation, management and oversight of broadcasting in Kosovo.

It licenses public and private broadcasters, establishes and implements policy and regulates broadcasting rights, obligations and responsibilities of individuals and entities who provide audio and audiovisual media services.

Source: Balkan Insight