Kosovo PM claims vic­tory, ri­vals refuse to con­cede

The Pak Banker - - 6international -

PRISTINA: Kosovo waited for of­fi­cial re­sults on Mon­day to con­firm Prime Min­is­ter Hashim Thaci's claim of vic­tory in the first gen­eral elec­tion since in­de­pen­dence from Ser­bia, amid ac­cu­sa­tions of some vote ma­nip­u­la­tion.

Thaci's ri­vals did not con­cede, cit­ing sus­pi­cions of ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in two of his strong­hold towns. Sup­port­ers of both Thaci's PDK party and the ri­val LDK, a for­mer coali­tion ally, cel­e­brated on Sun­day night with fire­crack­ers and honk­ing horns as they drove around town.

"Hope­fully, things will get bet­ter. But it was strange to see both par­ties cel­e­brate. We Al­ba­ni­ans are im­pa­tient. And there's not much to cheer about at a time when we do not con­trol a part of the coun­try," said Belul, a news­pa­per ven­dor.

Kosovo, where eth­nic Al­ba­ni­ans make up 92 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion of 2.2 mil­lion, de­clared in­de­pen­dence from Ser­bia in 2008 but Serbs still dom­i­nate the north of the coun­try.

Vot­ing took place in a gen­er­ally calm at­mos­phere ex­cept for mi­nor in­ci­dents in the north. Western mon­i­tors were ex­pected later on Mon­day to as­sess whether the elec­tions were free and fair.

In 1999, NATO forces bombed Yu­goslavia for 78 days to stop its Serb-dom­i­nated army wag­ing eth­nic cleans­ing in Kosovo. Their in­ter­ven­tion ush­ered in nearly a decade of United Na­tions ad­min­is­tra­tion of the for­mer Ser­bian prov­ince.

Now the Euro­pean Union and the United States view the snap elec­tion as a test of Kosovo's demo­cratic ma­tu­rity, and a fair vote is a con­di­tion for even­tual mem­ber­ship of the EU. The new govern­ment also has to start talks with Ser­bia, which has vowed never to rec­og­nize Kosovo's in­de­pen­dence.

"Vic­tory is ours," Thaci, with­out a tie and with sleeves rolled up, told sup­port­ers shortly be­fore mid­night on Sun­day. "The PDK tonight has reg­is­tered a his­toric, deep and de­ci­sive vic­tory." "The elec­tions were a ref­er­en­dum on the Euro­pean fu­ture of Kosovo," he added. -Reuters

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.