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Preliminary Results From Kosovo Runoff Bring Surprises

A woman casts her vote at a voting center in Pristina on December 1.
PRISTINA -- Preliminary results from Kosovo's runoff local elections have revealed a few surprises.

RFE/RL's Balkan Service reports that Shpend Ahmeti from the ethnic Albanian nationalist Self-Determination movement won the election for mayor in the capital, Pristina, a longtime stronghold of the biggest opposition party, the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK).

In the Serb-dominated part of the ethnically divided town of Mitrovica, Krstimir Pantic from the Civic Initiative Srpska (CIS) claimed victory with a 10 percent lead over his closest rival.

Pantic said the CIS wants "to preserve Kosovo in Serbia."

According to preliminary results, the CIS won in most Serb-majority municipalities.

Runoff elections were held on December 1 in 25 out of 38 municipalities.

The vote was peaceful.

Serbia does not recognize Kosovo's 2008 secession but had urged Serbs to vote as part of an EU-mediated deal to normalize relations.

With reporting by B92