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Kadri Veseli: US and Kosovo Are Democracies United Against Corruption

Kadri Veseli: US and Kosovo Are Democracies United Against Corruption

A picture taken on September 29, 2019 shows Kosovo Albanians working on an electoral billboard showing Kadri Veseli, candidate for prime minister from the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) in Pristina, ahead of the October 6 parliamentary elections in Kosovo. (Armend Nimani/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 02 October 2019 05:33 PM

This week, the people of Kosovo will make a historic choice with larger implications for the entire region. We are holding our fifth free and fair elections in the history of our young nation. Our proud and patriotic people will decide whether our country continues to be a beacon of hope and shining example of western values in the Balkans or takes a different path that will put in question our alliance with the United States and NATO.

I have faith that our nation will continue to make the best choice this October 6 for both our domestic and foreign interests, especially with the great opportunity we have to move forward thanks to our unwavering alliance with the United States of America.

I have fought on the battlefield side by side with Americans when I served as one of the leaders of the Kosovo Liberation Army. In fact, perhaps had the United States not led NATO’s defense of Kosovo, I may very well not be alive today.

Your commitment towards the protection of universal human rights has freed more people across the world than any other nation in history. And every day that Kosovo continues to prosper and succeed serves as a demonstration of the success achieved by America’s compassion and strength.

I only entered the political arena in 2012 when I joined the Democratic Party of Kosovo (“PDK”) – the party founded by the former liberation fighters. One of the main pillars of policy making in this party has been the maintenance of strong partnership with the USA and our former leader and former Prime Minister has maintained close contact and exchanges with each U.S. administration at the highest levels.

We have been in power for a long period of time and some of our people have made mistakes. However, we are the only party that has the honesty to acknowledge failures and errors and has the courage to address them. From my first minute in the position of chair of the PDK, I dedicated myself to reforming the party and to repairing wrongdoings by removing from power every official with indictments of corruption or nepotism. Instead of naming and blaming the others we started from ourselves.

Furthermore, I invited young people to take command and lead by nominating several young ministers in the past mandate. I believe that one of the best ways to fight corruption is to bring in fresh blood, by engaging young talented professionals by providing them with a chance to succeed. As you can imagine, this was no easy task and those in seniority fought us every step of the way. However, I am fully satisfied with their performance and anti-corruption reforms and I will carry on with this strategy of working closely with young people in the future as well.

Nowadays our party is the only one that does not just make promises but has taken real action. Under my stewardship, PDK is competing in these elections with a list of candidates that doesn’t have one single candidate accused of corruption or nepotism. Our list is full of highly qualified young activists that are uncompromised by corruption and full of energy and good will to face the challenges that lie ahead of us.

Our party is the only one to have provided a clear vision, a comprehensive and well thought plan on how to set this country free of corruption, cronyism, and nepotism. It is the only party that has the courage to deal with fake veterans and fully restore the dignity and glory of the Kosovo Liberation Army. Moreover, only PDK has a strategy to legalize the informal settlements and resolve the nightmare of hundreds of thousands of families that cannot capitalize on their houses because of lack of property deeds.

Our party has a concrete plan of action to deliver on our campaign promises when it comes to fighting corruption. Within the first 100 days of the next government we will initiate a thorough set of radical reforms that aim at cleaning up the system from corruption, at strengthening the long hand of the law, at modernizing our institutions in accordance with the highest western standards. Moreover we will limit the opportunities for corruption through deregulation, electronic government, and encouragement of free and fair market competition.

Through an anti-corruption public awareness program, our societal reforms will be permanent. Our program will promote personal integrity and civic responsibility in order to harmonize the rights and responsibilities of an individual towards the law in our culture.

During this closing week of my campaign, I will continue to emphasize the importance of fostering a strong alliance with the United States of America and our other Western Partners. Each of my speeches will continue to mention the Trump administration’s global anti-corruption efforts and elaborate on the fact that my Anti-Corruption Plan is based on American principles and policy.

Our citizens are not only embracing this message, but they are excited when I mention the United States of America and President Trump. The energy is really amazing.

The people of Kosovo understand that a strong partnership with America will help Kosovo become stronger. Our nation has great confidence in America’s moral leadership and example around the world.

My message is based on experience. I was honored to meet President Trump at the 2017 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. Even in the infancy of his presidency, he showed a keen interest in the diplomatic and political affairs of my country during our discussion.

I also want to take this opportunity to assure the American public of our commitment to our alliance. Please ignore the anti-American rhetoric of my opponents you may see this coming week.

Also do not worry about their past record of opposing or ignoring the recommendations coming from Washington when it comes to the border demarcation with Montenegro or the process of dialogue. Only a small and misinformed part of our electorate supports such negative and irrational anti-U.S. positions. They are not representative of our country’s true belief in your ideals and the immense gratitude that prevails in Kosovo for the help received from you in dear times.

When I become a Prime Minister, Kosovo will always consult with Washington and will be inspired by you in order to fully realize my country’s potential and bring prosperity and opportunity to all our citizens. Our alliance will only grow stronger because just like President Trump’s administration, our next government will take real actions that will produce the best results for all of our citizens.

Kosovo is ready for a new bold direction towards greatness.

Kadri Veseli serves as President of the Democratic Party of Kosovo and Speaker of Parliament. He is a candidate for Prime Minister in the election being held this Sunday, October 6, 2019.

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This week, the people of Kosovo will make a historic choice with larger implications for the entire region.
kosovo, trump, kadri veseli, election
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2019-33-02
Wednesday, 02 October 2019 05:33 PM
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