Kosovo ruling party finds new coalition partner

11:00, February 20, 2011      

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Kosovo' ruling Democratic Party ( PDK) reached a coalition agreement with new partners Saturday to enable it form a new government, and its leader Hashim Thaci will remain prime minister.

More than two months after elections that were marked by serious irregularities and frauds, Thaci signed the agreement with Begjet Pacolli's AKR (Alliance New Kosovo), and two minority political groups. Pacolli is to be elected President of the territory based on the coalition agreement signed Saturday in Prishtina.

Serbian Liberal Party(SLS), a Serbian party which has 8 seats in the 120-seat Kosovo Assembly, is also part of the coalition. SLS will nominate a deputy prime minister and three ministers.

Thaci promised to closely work with Pacolli to move forward Kosovo's European agenda.

"This is a coalition for new Kosovo, for democratic reforms, development, new jobs and a regional cooperation," said Thaci after signing the first coalition agreement of the day.

Six members of other non-Serb minority groups also joined the coalition. Three main Albanian parliamentary groups, LDK, AAK and Vetevendosje movement, having 51 seats, refused to enter the coalition.

Pacolli, a well-known Kosovo businessman, mainly operating in Swiss, is widely disputed in Kosovo, over his business relationship with Russia and his role in Kosovo conflict in late 1990s.

The new Kosovo Assembly will be constituted on Monday, but it' s unclear if the President will be elected in its first session.

There are reports for a quick election of the President and the government because of serious duties ahead. Kosovo still has not adopted the budget for 2011 and a dialogue with Serbia must start in a short term.

Kosovo, a former Serbian province, unilaterally declared independence in 2008. It is recognized by most Western nations but not Serbia.

Source: Xinhua
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