Kosovo voters elect first new government since declaring independence from Serbia

Kosovo voters elect first new government since declaring independence from Serbia

PanARMENIAN.Net - Voters in Kosovo are electing their first new government since declaring independence from Serbia.

The snap poll pits outgoing Prime Minister Hashim Thaci's Democratic Party of Kosovo against the Democratic League of Kosovo, led by Isa Mustafa, and various smaller parties.

Kosovo, which has strong links to predominantly Muslim Albania, declared independence in February 2008. Serbia and Kosovo's Serbian minority, among others, refuse to recognize the declaration, and Kosovo is officially administered by the United Nations.

Ethnic Serbs are expected to boycott the poll.

It was forced when Thaci lost a confidence vote November 2.

Thaci campaigned on promises of reform and visa liberalization with the European Union within 15 months.

Other political parties promised a better economy, while freer travel to the EU was also on their agendas.

The elections are the second ones run by Kosovo's own election commission. It ran mayoral and municipal elections in November 2009. International agencies ran Kosovo's elections for nine years before that.

The Kosovo government estimates the country's population at more than 2 million, with an estimated 92 percent Albanian, 5.3 percent Serbs, and 2.7 percent other groups, , CNN reported.

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