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Ex-Rebel Leader Elected Kosovo's Premier

3 December 2004 -- Kosovo's parliament elected former rebel commander Ramush Haradinaj as prime minister today despite concerns that he might be indicted over war crimes allegedly committed in the late 1990s.

Haradinaj, who was twice questioned recently by the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague, was elected under a coalition deal that saw veteran ethnic Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova return for a second term as president.

The 120-seat legislature voted 72-3 in favor of Haradinaj's appointment. Members of the second biggest party, the Democratic Party of Kosovo, abstained.

The European Union had cautioned against Haradinaj's election amid speculation he could be indicted for war crimes committed during the 1998-99 rebel insurgency against Serb rule.


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