Prime Minister Hashim Thaci’s Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) won the most votes in a parliamentary election held on Sunday, an exit poll showed.
According to the poll conducted by the Gani Bobi agency, the PDK claimed 31 per cent of the votes cast, ahead of Pristina Mayor Mustafa Isa’s Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) with 25 per cent.
The snap election was called last month when the coalition of PDK and LDK fell apart amid squabbling over the election of the new Kosovo president and the sale of the national telecoms company.
Newcomer party Vetevendosje (Self—Determination) came in third with 15 per cent, ahead of the Future for the Alliance of Kosovo (AAK) on 12.5 per cent. No other coalition collected more than 5 per cent of the vote to qualify for Parliament.
If the official vote count follows the exit poll, which has a margin of error of 2.5 per cent, the outcome creates a complicated landscape to build a majority coalition.
PDK and LDK are at odds after governing together over the previous three years, and Vetevendosje, a radical movement that opposes European Union assistance as “meddling,” may have a limited coalition potential.
The AAK, headed by the former guerrilla commander and prime minister Ramush Haradinaj, who is now on trial over a war crimes indictment at the International tribunal for former Yugoslavia, has long—since been hostile to both PDK and LDK.
Sunday’s election was Kosovo’s first since its majority Albanian population split from Serbia in 2008. Belgrade called on Kosovo Serbs to boycott the vote, but eight of their parties took part nevertheless.
The Kosovo Parliament has 120 seats, with 100 contested in a direct race, 10 reserved for Serbs and 10 for other ethnic communities.
The minority seats are likely to enter the equation in the race for an alliance controlling at least 61 votes in the upcoming legislature.
Keywords: Kosovo polls