Kosovo election largely boycotted by Serbs

Kosovo's minority Serbian population was all but silent Saturday in the province's first general election since becoming a UN protectorate in 1999. The vast majority of Serbs - up to 99%, according to estimates - boycotted the vote for a Kosovo Assembly in an effort to de-legitimize the Albanian-led movement toward Kosovo's political independence. The mob violence that erupted against some Serbian populations last March confirmed for many Serbs that there was little hope for a genuine multi-ethnic society in Kosovo. Serb leader and parlimentary candidate Oliver Ivanovic urged Serbs to vote, "It is the right of every Serb to vote. There must exist someone who will speak in their name." Most others, however, backed a boycott, which was also supported by political and church leaders in neighboring Serbia. UN Administrator Soren Jessen-Petersen lamented the low Serb turnout, which he ascribed to outside interference and intimidation. BBC News has more. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe has an elaborate website on the Kosovo elections, which are being supervised by the local Central Election Commission. The website of the governing authority, the United Nations Interim Mission in Kosovo, can be found here.

 

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