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Kosovo's president calls parliamentary election for June 11
May 11, 2017 / 1:06 PM / 7 months ago

Kosovo's president calls parliamentary election for June 11

PRISTINA (Reuters) - Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci called an early parliamentary election for June 11 after the government was dismissed in a no-confidence motion.

Kosovo's President Hashim Thaci gives an interview for REUTERS in his office in Kosovo's capital Pristina, January 16, 2017. REUTERS/Hazir Reka

Lawmakers voted on Wednesday to dismiss the cabinet of Prime Minister Isa Mustafa, who took over three years ago. The opposition accused the government of failing to meet campaign pledges.

“Early elections for the parliament of the Republic of Kosovo will be held on June 11th, 2017,” Thaci said in a letter to the Election Commission, seen by Reuters on Thursday.

This will be the third election in the country of 1.8 million people since it became independent in 2008.

Despite steady economic growth of around 4 percent, Kosovo remains one of the poorest countries in Europe with one third of its workforce unemployed.

An election will further postpone the adoption of a demarcation deal with Montenegro, central to the European Union lifting its requirement of needing a visa to travel to Kosovo.

It will also stall temporarily EU-sponsored talks between Kosovo and Serbia, key for both countries to progress towards membership of the European Union.

Kosovo broke with Serbia in 1999 after NATO bombing halted a campaign of ethnic cleansing directed against ethnic Albanians by Serbian forces trying to stamp out a two-year insurgency. It declared independence in 2008.

It has been recognised by more than 100 countries, including Western powers, but not by Serbia and its ally Russia or several EU members such as Spain.

Reporting by Fatos Bytyci; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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