Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Cécile Duflot ruffles some feathers

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Media accused of pro-protester bias in Ferguson

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment

Read more

FOCUS

Republicans block Obama's bid to hike minimum wage

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Hollande is ‘nobody’s president’ says former French minister

    Read more

  • Reporter’s IS captors taunted family, asked for €100m ransom

    Read more

  • Two US Ebola patients leave hospital ‘virus-free’

    Read more

  • Turkey’s Erdogan names foreign minister Davutoglu as next PM

    Read more

  • US reaches historic $16.7bn settlement with Bank of America

    Read more

  • Special report: Supplying Ukraine’s soldiers on the front line

    Read more

  • Israeli air strike kills three top Hamas commanders

    Read more

  • France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms

    Read more

  • Tensions high in Yemen as Shiite rebel deadline looms

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Former Irish PM Albert Reynolds dies at 81

    Read more

Europe

Both major parties claim victory in landmark elections

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2009-11-16

Both main parties have claimed victory in the country’s first election since independence, with surprising numbers of minority Serbs joining in the vote.

Kosovo has "passed a test" after completing elections in which both major democratic parties were confident of victory.

Observers said the vote had passed off well, with turnout among minority Serbs higher than expected in central and southern Kosovo where around 80,000 out of 120,000 members of the community live.

According to the electoral commission, some 45% of the 1.5 million eligible voters voted for mayors and local representatives in what Serbia views as a renegade southern province.

Marco Prelec, the Balkans project director for the International Crisis Group, said the elections were a landmark in the country's move towards becoming a fully functioning nation state.

"It is a big step forward," he told FRANCE 24. "There remain some serious concerns and there is still much room for improvement. But this was a test passed by the new government.

"The surprisingly large turnout by [minority] Serbs in the south of the country is a real signal that they are willing to enter into a pragmatic relationship with the Kosovo government."

Claims of victory

Prime Minister Hashim Thaci said his Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) won convincingly in 20 out of 36 municipalities in Sunday's local elections.

"The victory of the PDK presents a referendum about good governance in the Republic of Kosovo," he told to hundreds of his followers who were chanting his name.

On the other side, the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) of President Fatmir Sejdiu, which is the junior partner in the governing coalition, claimed absolute victory in the capital of Pristina by wining the mayor's post and a majority in the local assembly.

"It was a good day for the LDK," vice-president of LDK, Lutfi Haziri, told reporters, claiming his party won also in several important Kosovo's municipalities.

Independence

Kosovo citizens went to the polls Sunday for the first time since the ethnic Albanian majority declared independence from Serbia in February 2008.

Its independence has been recognised by 63 countries including the United States and the most of the European Union.

Despite its previous promise, the electoral commission failed to release the first preliminary results of the vote by Sunday midnight. It released only preliminary results for nine small municipalities.

"It was not possible to complete the results in such a short time," chairwoman of the election commission, Nesrin Lushta, told reporters, promising the complete results by late Monday afternoon.

Celebrations

However, thousands of supporters of both parties celebrated separately on Sunday evening by taking the streets of Pristina, honking their car horns, waving party flags and setting off firecrackers.

International observers were expected to announce Monday afternoon if the vote met standards.

Runoffs will be held on December 13 in municipalities where candidates fail to win more than 50 percent of the vote in the first round.

Date created : 2009-11-16

  • KOSOVO

    Kosovo's first vote since independence is seen as test for democracy

    Read more

  • KOSOVO

    Statue hails Bill Clinton's role in war against Serbia

    Read more

COMMENT(S)