Defiant Serbia names Kosovo election date

Serbia announced Thursday it will hold local elections in Kosovo in a move that defies the United Nations and ignores the region's declaration of independence.

Defiant Serbia names Kosovo election date
"The decision was reached unanimously," Serbia's trade minister Predrag Bubalo said after a government meeting.

U.N. officials have warned Serbia against holding the vote next month because it would breach the world body's mandate for Kosovo, which it has administered since 1999.

There was no immediate comment from U.N. officials on Thursday. But the U.N. has said only it has authority to organize elections in Kosovo.

Belgrade said it will hold the vote on May 11 along with its own parliamentary and municipal elections.

Since Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February, some three dozen countries -- including the United States and most EU states -- have recognized the new nation, where 90 percent of the 2 million people are ethnic Albanians.

But Serbia has rejected the move as illegal under international law.

Belgrade intends to organize local elections in 16 Kosovo municipalities, including the capital, Pristina.

In the past, the U.N. has allowed Kosovo Serbs to vote in Serbia's parliamentary and presidential elections, but local elections are seen as undermining international authorities because they deal directly with Kosovo's internal municipal arrangements.

Last Mod: 18 Nisan 2008, 14:40
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