Thursday, July 19, 2007

Kosovo to go-ahead with autumn elections

Faced with growing discomfort at the repeated extension of terms, top Kosovo officials have decided to hold elections this fall whether or not the status is decided.  The politicians were elected in 2002 on four year terms but the 2006 election was postponed by the UN thinking that the status would be resolved.  The deadline for the postponement was June 2007 and as that date has passed and opposition leaders are calling for a vote and questioning the legitimacy of the current government, Kosovo leaders are going to present the idea of an election to SRSG Ruecker for approval. 
It comes as no great surprise that Russia has rejected the resolution introduced by the EU/US.  Russia continues to oppose the resolution because the text still holds a hidden path to independence.  Now the big question is, what's next?  The resolution spells out that the negotiations would be carried out by diplomats of the Contact Group (US, UK, Italy, Germany, France, Russia) and the EU.  However, South Africa's ambassador questioned how the EU could negotiate fairly as it has been a strong supporter of independence.  The Security Council is due to debate Kosovo behind closed doors on Thursday.

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