Headline News


Kosovo opposition leader wins election


Source: | 11-20-2007 08:29

The leader of Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) Hashim Thaci gives the thumbs-up as he greets his supporters after claiming victory in Kosovo's parliamentary election, 18 November 2007. (AFP/File/Dimitar Dilkoff)

Preliminary official results in Kosvo show opposition politician Hashim Thaci winning parliamentary elections.

As an advocate of Kosovo's independence, Thaci's victory is drawing more attention to the final status of the Serbian province. The upcoming settlement talks with the EU in Brussels look crucial.

According to preliminary results, Thaci's Democratic Party of Kosovo has won 36 percent of the votes. President Fatmir Sejdiu's Democratic League of Kosovo trailed behind in second place with 21 percent.

But Thaci's party has failed to obtain enough votes to govern on its own. A senior party official says a coalition with the president's party looks like the most likely outcome.

Saturday's parliamentary vote is the third for the legislature since the province came under UN and NATO control in 1999. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe says the elections were conducted in a peaceful and orderly manner.

But most Serbian candidates and Serb voters in the province boycotted Saturday's election. They are staunch opponents of Kosovo's independence.

Thaci has already travelled to the Belgian capital, where Kosovo's negotiators will meet international envoys and Serbian officials for another round of talks on Tuesday.

An ethnic Albanian girl walks past election posters in Pristina, Kosovo, November 16, 2007. (Hazir Reka/Reuters)

The Kosovo negotiation team also include the president, the prime minister and other senior officials. Thaci says any future decisions will be made in coordination with the US and EU.

Hashim Thaci, Senior Kosovo Negotiator, said, "We will respect the international mandate that we have. Tomorrow we will have a meeting in Brussels then another one in Vienna. All our decisions after December 10 will be coordinated together with Washington and Brussels. We will have a speedy and mutual decision."

European Union foreign ministers have warned Kosovo not to make any unilateral moves toward independence. They say Kosovo needs to work constructively towards a sustainable settlement to its final status.


Editor:Zhang Pengfei