Kosovo Ruling Party Claims Victory in Elections
Thaci said after polls closed that his Democratic Party of Kosovo, PDK, had won the elections, although the Central Election Commission reported a turnout of only 43.2 per cent.
“As of tomorrow morning we will continue to fulfil our duties. As of tomorrow we will start to implement our ‘New Mission’,” former Kosovo Liberation Army leader Thaci said in a speech on Sunday night.
After more than 94 per cent of the votes were counted by Monday morning, Thaci’s PDK was leading with 31.24 per cent with the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) led by former Pristina mayor Isa Mustafa running second with 26.11 per cent.
The ‘Vetevendosje’ (Self Determination) movement was third with 13.73 per cent, followed by the Alliance for Future of Kosovo on 9.65 per cent, the Central Election Commission said.
The polls passed off peacefully and no major irregularities were noted, although NGOs monitoring the vote said their observers had witnessed thousands of cases of family voting and other incidents of voters being bribed.
For the first time since Pristina declared independence in 2008, the authorities in Belgrade encouraged Kosovo Serbs to vote in the polls, but despite this, turnout was much lower than the nationwide average in the Serb-dominated north of the country.
The 'Srpska' List, representing Kosovo Serbs, polled 2.91 per cent of the vote, according to the CEC.
The elections, which were held early, were considered to be crucial for the future integration of the Serb north which will have an impact on Belgrade's EU ambitions, while the outcome will also be an important milestone on Kosovo’s European path.
The EU, which has been brokering talks on normalizing relations between Pristina and...