The majority of Kosova’s Albanian population decided to ignore the Serbian vote – many hoping what goes on in Belgrade will have little effect on their lives. They are looking to the international community to help deliver independence for the breakaway province, despite the rise of the ultra- nationalist Radicals. But even so, the results have surprised some: “I was so disappointed when I saw the news,” said one man, “to be very honest I cannot believe that again the Serbs choose Radicals in the twenty-first century to lead them.”
While the leaders of two of the Serbian parties have agreed to seek a negotiated settlement to the problem of Kosovo, the Radicals have not and this the prime minister of Kosovo, Agim Ceku, sees as a problem: “Serbian people had the chance to vote for the future but the first signs says that some of them chose to vote for the past, and this makes the Serbian way toward Europe more slowly and more difficult than it should be. We all in the region want Serbia to be a democratic country and to move together with us towards European Union,” he said.
But the Radical’s increased power in parliament could undermine the hopes of the Albanian Kosovans who belive they are on the brink of independence. Ylber Hysa, a lawyer, said: “This is not something that we really need in this process when we’re supposed to close up the last chapter of Yugoslav disintegration so we hope that this is a chance for Serbia itself to get more stable and to really help in understanding realities in Kosovo that for us have to end up with independence.”
Next month’s UN report is expected to recommend some form of separation from Serbia, that will not be welcomed by the ten percent of Serbs living in the province. They see the rise of the Radicals as a last ditch attempt to hold on to an integrated Serbia.