Mon, Nov 04, 2013 - Page 7 News List

Kosovo vote key test for EU-backed deal with Serbia

BOYCOTT?Thousands of Serbian votes are regarded as crucial to the poll’s success, yet many Serbs fear that voting gives the Kosovo government legitimacy

AFP, KOSOVSKA MITROVICA, Kosovo

Silvana, a 40-year old Serb woman, said voting was “the best thing to do,” despite the problems.

“I will vote definitely,” she said.

Konstantin Stijovic, 82, described the casting of his vote as a “duty.”

“I was born here and I want to show my family what they should do,” Stijovic told reporters.

For Kosovar Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, the elections will be a test of support for improving relations with Belgrade.

Thaci has come under fire from the opposition for entering into negotiations with Belgrade, but his Democratic Party of Kosovo is nevertheless expected to win most of the ethnic Albanians’ votes.

About 1.7 million people across the territory are eligible to vote in the election. Polling stations opened at 6am GMT and are set to close 12 hours later. Preliminary results are expected during the course of next week.

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