Albin Kurti: Former Kosovo PM barred from February 14 general election

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By Euronews  with AP
Albin Kurti served as Kosovo's Prime Minister from February to June last year.
Albin Kurti served as Kosovo's Prime Minister from February to June last year.   -  Copyright  AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu

Former Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti has been barred from running in the country's parliamentary elections next month.

Kosovo's election authorities excluded Kurti due to his sentencing for a crime in the last three years, which makes him ineligible as a candidate.

The Central Election Commission and the Election Complaints and Appeals Panel has also ruled against other potential candidates from Kurti's Self-Determination Movement, or Vetevendosje! party. 

Other parties' candidates, who have received recent criminal sentences, have also been barred.

In 2018, Kurti and other lawmakers were sentenced for using tear gas and other violent acts to disrupt Kosovo's parliamentary proceedings.

The unrest had broken out during votes on a border demarcation deal with Montenegro and an association for the ethnic Serb-dominated areas in Kosovo.

After Kosovo's war ended with a 78-day NATO air campaign in June 1999, Pristina declared independence from Serbia in 2008, something that Belgrade has not recognised.

Vetevendosje! said it would appeal the commission and panel decision to Kosovo's Supreme Court.

Kurti was prime minister from February to June last year but he left office in the summer after his governing coalition collapsed. 

A new government was formed under the leadership of former finance minister Avdullah Hoti. 

But the vote to confirm the coalition was declared invalid because one of the MPs in favour had been convicted of fraud. 

As a result, a snap election was scheduled for February 14.