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UN Refuses To Annul Parliament Vote In Kosovo

5 December 2004 -- The UN administration in Kosovo (UNMIK) has refused a Serb request to annul the appointment of former Albanian rebel leader Ramush Haradinaj as Kosovo's prime minister.

UNMIK said the 3 December appointment expressed the legitimate wishes of the Kosovo parliament.

Haradinaj is a former senior commander in the rebel Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK). Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica on 4 December said Haradinaj's appointment would present a serious blow to negotiations on the final status of Kosovo.

Belgrade has accused Haradinaj of being one of the principal instigators behind a campaign of anti-Serb violence that has forced more than 200,000 ethnic-Serbs to flee since the UN arrived in the province.

On 5 December, former Serbian Justice Minister Vladan Batic accused Haradinaj of having committed 67 murders and ordered 267 others.

The Serbian province has been administered by the UN since a NATO bombing campaign forced the withdrawal of Serb forces in 1999. Ethnic Albanians in the province are seeking independence. Serbs would like Kosovo to remain part of Serbia.