Kosovo to Hold Early Parliamentary Elections on June 8
Kosovo is to hold early general elections on June 8, as leaders of the country's main political parties agreed Tuesday.
The Parliament in Pristina took the decision after ethnic Serb MPs failed to attend a session at which lawmakers had to vote on a bill setting up an army in Kosovo, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported. Elections were previously scheduled for November.
The opposition, however, was firm during Tuesday's debates that the Parliament cannot swiftly perform its duties and early polls are inevitable.
Prime Minister Hashim Thaci said he approved the step, adding that a Parliament unable to decide on an issue of such importance as the creation of a national army is redundant.
Two-thirds of the lawmakers were required for this vote, but Serb representatives blocked the procedure. Under the proposed bill, an army of 5000, with 3000 reservits, is to be created in Kosovo, which currently has only 2500-strong self-defense forces at disposal.
It is unclear whether the next parliament will be able to pass the legislation, as it also requires the support of two-thirds of minority deputies, which include representatives of the 100 000 Serbs (4% of the population) in the northern part of Kosovo.
Pristina's declaration of statehood which was announced in February 2008 remains unrecognized by many countries, including Serbia, which still considers Kosovo part of its territory, Russia, and a number of EU members.
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