EU satisfied with moderates’ victory in Kosovo election

Kosovars abandoned the militants and voted for
the moderate leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo Ibrahim
Rugova in Saturday’s elections for a new Kosovo provincial
assembly. Mr Rugova called for the formal recognition of the
independence of the mainly Albanian-populated Kosovo from

The new Kosovar institutions should gradually replace the
United Nations institutions currently governing this
southern province of Serbia since the ethnic war in 1999
which saw most of the Serbs driven out of Kosovo.

Mr Rugova won over two other major
Albanian parties, headed by former Kosovo Liberation Army
commanders. His Democratic League of Kosovo received 47
percent of the vote according to partial results. Hashim
Thaci’s Democratic Party of Kosovo received 26 percent, and
Ramush Haradinaj’s Alliance for the Future of Kosovo 9
percent. The Serbian minority party received 8 percent of
the vote.


15 EU foreign ministers

rejected Mr Rugova's call for the independence of Kosovo at
their meeting in Brussels on 19 November. The EU ministers
called on the newly elected authorities in Kosovo to
respect the UN resolution 1244 under which Kosovo is to
remain an autonomous region of Yugoslavia.

Javier Solana, EU High Representative for the
Common Foreign and Security Policy

, said that "these elections mark a decisive step in the
development of democracy in Kosovo". He called on the newly
elected leaders "to exercise their new authority with
wisdom and responsibility". "A success of the process of
provisional autonomy will also greatly contribute to the
stability of South East Europe and will facilitate our
common efforts to promote the integration of the region
into European structures," added Mr Solana.

NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson

, said that "these elections represent a remarkable step
forward towards normality and give all communities in
Kosovo the chance to build a truly democratic, multi-ethnic
and prosperous society". "NATO remains committed to the
restoration of peace and stability in Kosovo and the entire
Balkan region," stressed Lord Robertson.


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