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Kosovo votes in first poll since independence

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Kosovo votes in first poll since independence

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Voting is underway in Kosovo’s first national election since it declared independence from Serbia.

Polls suggest a close race between the ruling social democratic party PDK and its former coalition partner the right-wing LDK.

Ethnic Serbs in the divided town of Mitrovica say they will boycott the vote as tensions over Kosovo’s independence remain.

Incumbent Prime Minister Hashim Thaci is ahead in the polls, but its expected that to remain in office he will have to recruit a new coalition partner.

The last thing Kosovo needs is political inertia as the fledgling state wrestles 48 per cent unemployment and rampant corruption.

The LDK, led by Isa Mustapha, has made it clear it will not re-join Tachi in government.

The European Union will be keeping an eye on events as a free and fair vote is a condition for membership.