Kosovo holds parliamentary election

08:19, December 13, 2010      

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Kosovo on Sunday held an early parliamentary election, with most of polling stations opened at 7 a.m.(0600 GMT) and expected to be closed at 7 p.m.(1800 GMT) local time.

Over 1.6 million people are eligible to cast their votes for 100 seats of the Kosovo Assembly. Twenty more seats are reserved for minorities, 10 for the Serbs and 10 for other minorities.

As many as 1,265 candidates compose the list of 29 entities trying to gain the majority in the Kosovo Assembly and form the government.

Head of the Central Election Commission (CEC) Valdete Daka said the process was fair in the morning and no serious incidents were reported.

More than 30,000 observers are involved in monitoring the process, mostly locals. An estimated 6,000 police and security officials are also in place to deter violence.

The International Civil Representative, Pieter Faith, called on all parties in Kosovo to conduct a fair and democratic process.

The fight against corruption and European integration dominated the election campaign.

According to local media, Prime Minister Hashim Thaci's Democratic Party of Kosovo is most likely to remain in power but will require the support of coalition partners.

However, challenger Isa Mustafa, leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo, could also take an estimated 30 percent of the vote and seek to form the next government.

Growth of smaller parties and continued corruption scandals since 2008 are seen as factors that have led to a decline in Thaci's popularity.

Source: Xinhua

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