Kosovo PM Thaci Claims Election Victory
The Democratic Party of Kosovo, led by Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, has claimed victory in national elections marked by a low turnout, Sunday.
The former rebel chief's Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) is ahead by three percentage points, according to preliminary results.The republic's Central Election Commission, which has processed almost 100% of the ballots, reports the party was supported by about 32% of the vote. Thus, Thaci will be able to remain head of the government for the third term, Itar-Tass reports.
Officials said turnout Sunday was 43 percent of eligible voters, which is lower than at the parliamentary elections in 2007 and 2010, and may be explained by the public disappointment with the authorities due to Kosovo's low development progress since the republic became independent in 2008.
The snap elections were called in May after Serb lawmakers blocked a vote on establishing a national army. The vote was originally scheduled for November.
Although Serbian authorities still reject Kosovo's independence, they have encouraged the ethnic Serb community to take part in the elections in a bid to strengthen the 2013 EU-brokered deal aiming to normalize relations between the two countries.