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Kosovar Opposition Calls For Confidence Vote In Government

Prime Minister Hashim Thaci
Prime Minister Hashim Thaci
PRISTINA -- The opposition political party Alliance for New Kosovo has requested that parliament take a vote of confidence in the government, RFE/RL's Balkan Service reports.

The request on October 28 means the motion must be discussed in parliament within five days. If the government does not pass the vote, Kosovo is required under the constitution to hold snap parliamentary elections by the end of the year.

The Kosovar government was severely weakened when the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) withdrew from the two-party ruling coalition on October 18, several weeks after LDK leader Fatmir Sejdiu resigned as president of Kosovo.

Kosovo had been governed the past three years by a coalition made up of the Kosovo Democratic Party (PDK) and the LDK. PDK leader Hashim Thaci is the prime minister.

After Sejdiu resigned as president, the acting president declared February 13 the date for early general elections.

Kosovar political parties are divided over the holding of a snap election by the end of December.

The PDK is generally in favor of such an election, though some opposition parties have expressed concern about the Central Election Commission's ability to organize a free and fair vote in such a short period.

Analysts say the snap election could weaken the chances of new political parties participating in the upcoming elections for the first time.

Kosovo declared independence in February 2008 and is recognized by 71 countries, including the United States and 22 European Union members.

This is the first political crisis facing Kosovo since it declared independence. Foreign governments, international organizations, and other observers are closely watching how the Kosovar government handles it.