The party led by Ibrahim Rugova, the president of the Serbian province of Kosovo, has won Saturday’s parliamentary election, according to initial results. The announcement came from the Central Electoral Commission, which is headed by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The Commission said turnout among the 1.4 million electorate was around 51 per cent. Although the figures may change slightly after all votes have been counted, it is clear that no party is in a position to form a government on its own.
Rugova’s Democratic League of Kosovo took around 45 per cent of the total vote. The second largest group in the 120-seat assembly will be the Democratic Party of Kosovo led by former guerrilla leader Hashim Thaçi. Kosovo’s minority Serb population boycotted the elections en masse, highlighting the deep divisions in the territory which has been under United Nations administration for the last five years. Most of Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian majority wants independence for the province, but ethnic Serbs would like Belgrade to take back control.