Unofficial results from elections in Kosovo appear to indicate that President Ibrahim Rugova’s party has won nearly half the seats in the country’s second parliament since it became a UN protectorate in 1999. But reports from polling stations suggest a planned boycott of the vote by minority Serbs was observed.
Led by veteran Albanian separatist leader Rugova, the Democratic League of Kosovo campaigned under the slogan ‘independence for Kosovo’. In second place with a reported 27 per cent of the vote is the centre left Democratic Party of Kosovo, headed by former Kosovo Liberation Army political leader Hasim Thaci. The future status of the province, which technically remains part of Serbia and Montenegro, was a key issue of the campaign. The vast majority of the population are Albanians, most of whom want independence for the province. A decision on Kosovo’s so-called final status will be taken in 2005.