The Establishment of New Municipalities

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The government initiated the procedures of establishing Hasi as a new municipality.

“Life in Kosovo” discussed the establishment of new municipalities in Kosovo; specifically, the government’s proposal of recognizing Hasi as a new municipality. The establishment of Hasi as a new municipality was promised by many politicians for years. Prime minister, Hashim Thaci, declared that the decision for establishing Hasi as a new municipality was already made, however, this declaration has been modified as a proposal from the government without any firm verdict. This approach is being considered as a political move of the government since the new elections are going take place in autumn 2013.

Basri Musmurati, undersecretary of Local Government Administration and general secretary of PDK, said that this decision is the best regarding the population of Hasi and the government has done a thorough analysis into deciding whether Hasi should be established as a new municipality.

Even though, the government has modified the prime-minister’s declaration of Hasi as a new municipality, in their website is written that one of the government’s decision on their 129th meeting is “The Republic of Kosovo, today, has approved the decision of establishing a new municipality based on the request of the Hasi’s population.” Afrim Kasolli, Vetevendosje, said that this is firmly a political and electoral decision by saying: “It is clear that this is an electoral decision since we are in an electoral environment and in only 5-6 months the elections will be held.”

Besnik Tahiri, AAK, said that there are a lot of criteria that a place should meet in order to become a municipality, but most importantly he said that “The establishment of new municipalities does not generate any new jobs or to have a Head person to run it, but it is done to improve the public service.” Moreover, Tahiri explains that in order for a place to be considered as new municipalities there are five fundamental principles: “1) The number of population, 2) geography, 3) financial self-sustainability, 4) the acceptance of the municipality, 5) special specifications.”

Sadri Ferati – Former Minister of Local Government and Member of Parliament LDK, implies that the promises for the establishment of new municipalities will continue and there will be a huge mess since most of the villages would want to become a municipality. As a result, he proposes: “we should make some criteria that fit the international ones, but also should be based upon social agreements, where our society should gather and find a common ground related to the criterions regarding the establishment of new municipalities.”

BIRN broadcast two stories relating this issue. The first one was between the region of Prizren and Gjakova, and the population interviewed did not support the decision to establish Hasi as a new municipality. The other story was in Zhegra, which is a village that has requested to become a municipality since it fulfills most of the criterion. But there is no decision taken upon this request by the government.