Kosovo Warned against Independence

A party led by a former Kosovo Albanian rebel is set to win the election held last Saturday, which were boycotted by the Serb minority.

Hashim Thaci's PDK party is ahead with 30% of the vote while the rival Democratic League of Kosovo (LKD), which had dominated Kosovo politics in recent years, trailed in second place with 22%.

All ethnic Albanian parties in the election called for independence following a December 10 deadline to make a deal on autonomy
with the Serbs:

"We will declare independence immediately after 10 December," Mr Thaci told cheering supporters as results were coming in.

If the PDK did in fact win the largest number of seats in the 120-seat parliament, a period of negotiations is likely to take place before a coalition government is formed, the BBC's Nick Hawton reports from the Kosovo capital, Pristina.

But every ethnic Albanian party, our correspondent adds, has the same priority: trying to make Kosovo an independent state in its own right and break away from Serbia.
NATO ministers have warned the Kosovoans not to declare independence in that it would isolate them from the international community.

Russia and Serbia both violently oppose Kosovo independence and it is unclear what moves they would make to resist it. With NATO out of the picture, anything might be possible although most observers expect NATO troops - who have been in the country since 1999, to continue to keep the peace while efforts are made to broker a deal.
 
A party led by a former Kosovo Albanian rebel is set to win the election held last Saturday, which were boycotted by the Serb minority.

Hashim Thaci's PDK party is ahead with 30% of the vote while the rival Democratic League of Kosovo (LKD), which had dominated Kosovo politics in recent years, trailed in second place with 22%.

All ethnic Albanian parties in the election called for independence following a December 10 deadline to make a deal on autonomy
with the Serbs:

"We will declare independence immediately after 10 December," Mr Thaci told cheering supporters as results were coming in.

If the PDK did in fact win the largest number of seats in the 120-seat parliament, a period of negotiations is likely to take place before a coalition government is formed, the BBC's Nick Hawton reports from the Kosovo capital, Pristina.

But every ethnic Albanian party, our correspondent adds, has the same priority: trying to make Kosovo an independent state in its own right and break away from Serbia.
NATO ministers have warned the Kosovoans not to declare independence in that it would isolate them from the international community.

Russia and Serbia both violently oppose Kosovo independence and it is unclear what moves they would make to resist it. With NATO out of the picture, anything might be possible although most observers expect NATO troops - who have been in the country since 1999, to continue to keep the peace while efforts are made to broker a deal.