Kosovo holds First Election Since Disputed Independence
Kosovo held its first elections since declaring itself as an independent nation. Kosovo broke away from Serbia last February 2008. Serbia refuses to recognize Kosovo as independent. The polls were generally peaceful.
Voter turnout exceeded the 45% expectations. Members of the ethnic Serbs community were visibly seen to have opted to join the polls despite calls from Belgrade, Serbia’s capital that they should not participate.
“Full success [of these elections] will reflect well on the country in the continuing process of Kosovo’s international recognition”, Prime Minister Hashim Thaci said. “This is a great step forward for the sovereign state.”
There were, however, rival ethnic parties issued allegations of fraud to the prime minister’s ruling party, the Democratic Party of Kosovo, by manipulating the commission handling the elections.
63 out of the 192 (32%) member states of the United Nations recognize Kosovo as independent. This includes Security Council permanent members United States, United Kingdom and France. Russia and China refused recognition. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) already considered Kosovo as a member country.