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Rugova's Party Claims Victory In Kosovo Vote

24 October 2004 -- Kosovo's President Ibrahim Rugova has declared victory for his Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) in parliamentary elections held yesterday.

Rugova said today in Pristina his LDK won more than half of votes cast. He said, though, the party will wait for final official results before commenting on the composition of a future government.

The rival Democratic Party of Kosovo of former rebel Hashim Thaci placed second.

Officials say Serbs -- a minority in the UN-administered Serbian province -- generally boycotted the poll. Serbs largely want Kosovo to remain part of Serbia and Montenegro, while Rugova and the majority ethnic Albanian population are calling for independence.