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Kosovar Serbs To Boycott Local Elections

An assembly representing the Serb minority in Kosovo has voted unanimously to boycott upcoming EU-backed local elections, despite pressure from the Serbian government.

On August 16, all 91 members of the Interim Assembly of the Autonomous Province of Kosovo-Metohija voted in favor of a resolution that said the election planned for November 3 violated Serbian law.

It said the vote would lead to further international recognition of the independence that Kosovo, which has an ethnic Albanian majority, declared from Serbia in 2008.

Both Belgrade, and Kosovo Serbs, reject this declaration.

The local election is at the core of an EU-brokered deal to normalize relations between Belgrade and Pristina.

The start of EU accession negotiations for Serbia depends on implementation of the deal, and the government in Belgrade has urged Kosovar Serbs to take part in the election.

Based on reporting by B92, RFE/RL's Balkan Service, and dpa

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