From Monsters and Critics.com|
Pristina - Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu on Tuesday designated the former rebel leader Hashim Thaci to head the new government of Serbia's breakaway province.
Sejdiu urged Thaci to forge a government coalition 'as soon as possible.'
Thaci's Democratic Party of Kosovo won 37 of 120 seats in the Kosovo assembly, ahead of likely partners in the anticipated grand coalition, Sejdiu's Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), with 25 seats.
Thaci immediately launched coalition talks with the LDK, as well as with the third-placed Alliance New Kosovo (AKR), with 13 seats.
The minority Serbs, who fear that they would be driven out of an independent Kosovo, boycotted the election following orders from Belgrade and now have only the 10 seats reserved for them by law.
Albanian leaders, who represent 90 per cent of the 2.2 million people in Kosovo, this week promised to declare independence 'very quickly,' 'no later than May.'
Serbia, however, insists on sovereignty over Kosovo although the province has only been its territory nominally since NATO ousted its security forces in 1999.
Talks between Belgrade and Pristina held during most of 2006 and in the past four months of 2007 have failed to bring the hostile sides any closer to a mutually acceptable outcome for Kosovo.
Backed by Russia, Serbia insists on talks until a compromise solution has been found.
While the Albanians and Western powers have given up on the futile negotiations, a unilateral declaration of independence now looms, followed by a volley of bilateral recognitions.
A Russian veto has so far rule out the recognition of Kosovo in the United Nations, where the Security Council is set to debate the issue on December 19.© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur
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