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Kosovar Vote Count Halted After Skin Problems Linked To Serbian Ballot Boxes


Kosovo Vote Count Suspended After Health Incident
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WATCH: Kosovo Vote Count Suspended After Health Incident

Vote counting has been suspended in Kosovo after several Central Election Commission officials reported health problems after opening five ballot boxes from Serbia.

Avdyl Pacolli, head of an emergency clinic in the capital Pristina, told RFE/RL on October 13 that those affected said they had allergic reactions and skin problems.

A Kosovo police official confirmed the incident to RFE/RL but declined to give details.

Srpska Lista (Serb List), the main party representing the country's Serb minority, in a statement alleged that there was an attempt to "manipulate" ethnic Serb votes.

The party also alleged that there was an attempt to "install" a Serb parliamentarian that it said would be acceptable to Albin Kurti's leftist-nationalist Vetevendosje (Self-Determination) party, which won the most votes in the October 6 general elections.

Kurti, who spent 2 1/2 years in a Serbian prison for his pro-independence actions, has sparked the ire of Serbia.

When asked about a Serbian minister in his future government, a constitutional requirement, Kurti said he preferred “a Serb minister who comes from those Serbs who recognize the independence of Kosovo.”

Belgrade reacted with fury.

Marko Djuric, the Serbian official in charge of Kosovar affairs, accused Kurti of being an “extremist” who was “stomping” on the democratic rights of Kosovo-Serbs.

The Belgrade-backed Srpska Lista party is expected to win the 10 seats in the 120-seat parliament that are reserved for ethnic Serbs, the country's largest minority group.

Kurti's party defeated center-right political groupings formed by former Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) fighters who had governed since 2007.

But his party did not garner enough votes to govern on its own and has started talks with the center-right Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) to form a coalition.

Kosovo, a former Serbian province, declared independence in 2008, a decade after an insurrection by UCK fighters and Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic's bloody crackdown launched a 1998-99 war.

Kosovo is recognized as a nation by more than 110 countries, including the United States, but not by Serbia and its traditional ally Russia as well as five EU member states.

With reporting by AP

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