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Hardline Kosovo Serb Elected North Mitrovica Mayor

Election officials with ballot boxes from the marred November 2013 round of voting for the mayor of northern Mitrovica.
Local elections results from Kosovo show a hard-line Kosovo Serb has been elected mayor of northern Mitrovica after a prolonged electoral race that was soured by the killing of one candidate and the arrest of another.

Official preliminary results from the February 23 mayoral election show Goran Rakic, a Belgrade-backed candidate, winning 52.6 percent of the ballots. More than 28,000 voters were registered to cast ballots.

Rakic's main contender, Oliver Ivanovic, is in detention after a European Union prosecutor indicted him for alleged war crimes against ethnic Albanians in 1999 and alleged murder in 2000.

In January, Dimitrije Janicijevic, a mayoral candidate from a party that collaborates with ethnic Albanians, was gunned down outside his house.

NATO peacekeepers and EU police were on heightened security in the Serb-dominated northern part of divided Mitrovica during the February 23 vote.

It was the fourth ballot in as many months. Previous attempts failed because of violence and intimidation.

Based on reports by AP, AFP, and DPA.