Who is Who - Hikmete Bajrami: An Enemy of Corruption

Hikmete Bajrami
Source: Reporteri

Democratic League of Kosovo MP Hikmete Bajrami has called on Kosovo's Prime Minister Albin Kurti and Minister of Economy Artane Rizvanolli to explain to the assembly how it was possible for the Kosovo Energy Corporation (KEK) to sign as many as 16 contracts with one company.

"Corruption continues with single-source contracts. Today, June 3, according to the Public Procurement Regulatory Commission, the Kosovo Energy Corporation signed the 16th single-source contract, without publishing a contract notice, with the same company. So we are negotiating directly 16 times with the same company," Bajrami stated.

Two days ago, on June 1, she announced that the value of just four such contracts was 683,000 euros.

"Corruption continues. Yesterday, the Public Procurement Regulatory Commission published four single-source contracts totaling 683,000 euros. So, 683,000 euros in one day," Bajrami stated, reacting to the report from the Public Procurement Regulatory Commission.

It is not the first time that Bajrami, outspokenly, has accused Albin Kurti of government corruption. She has been doing so continuously since Self-Determination came to power.

"Appointing family members and party cadres close to power in key institutions is also corruption. Now the curtain has fallen, and everyone can see that the Self-Determination government has surpassed all previous cabinets in scandals. Not only is there no fight against corruption, but it has been shown that the promises and supposed goals that brought Self-Determination to power were actually a farce to gather votes," she told Kurti last July when it turned out that five ministers in the government were under investigation for suspicious procurements and distribution of funds from capital investment funds.

Indeed, she was also criticized when she was head of the Ministry of Finance in 2020.

"Instead of parties in friendly countries focusing on supporting businesses that need it most, no, this minister uses that money to cover up her failures. Her incompetence is still tolerated even at a time when the country is facing economic collapse," stated Democratic Party of Kosovo MP Ganimete Musliu in November 2020.

Whether because of criticism or, as she stated, personal reasons, Bajrami resigned in February 2021.

Thus, after seven years, she ended her "ministerial mission."

She came to the position of Minister of Finance from being the Minister of Education, Science, Technology, and Innovation.

Previously, from 2014 to 2017, she was also a minister in the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Who is Hikmete Bajrami

A professor of marketing at the Faculty of Economics in Pristina, Bajrami was born on January 20, 1975, in Peja.

She graduated from the Faculty of Economics in 2000, majoring in Management and Informatics, and was declared the best student, and completed her master's studies at Staffordshire University in England in 2003.

Eight years later, she earned her doctorate and is the author of several academic theses and scientific articles published in various international journals.

She has worked in international institutions for a full 12 years: from the Swedish agency SIDA (2007-2009), through the World Bank where she was an advisor (2010), to the Department of Trade and Industry UNMIK (2000-2002).

She entered political life in 2007, first as a member of the DSK Expert Council, and from 2010 as an MP for this party in the assembly.

During her parliamentary engagement, she was a member of several parliamentary committees, such as the Committee on Budget and Finance and the Committee on Economic Development, Infrastructure, Trade, Industry, and Regional Development.

She was known for her fiery speeches and as a major opponent of the government whose prime minister was Hashim Thaci, and within the PSK she openly opposed a coalition with the Democratic Party of Kosovo.

Judging by her current statements, she is not keen on the DSK entering a coalition with Self-Determination.

"Today we are all aware that the economic situation and the state of institutions are at the lowest point since the post-war period," Bajrami told the Kosovo Prime Minister on May 19.