Kosovo's highest court rules parliamentary vote electing government was illegal

PRISTINA (Reuters) - Kosovo’s highest court ruled on Monday that a June parliamentary vote electing the new government was illegal, pushing the country into an early election.

The Constitutional Court of Kosovo said the election of the government of Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti was not “in accordance with paragraph 3 of article 95.”

The court called on the country’s president to set the date for a new election.

The government led by the centre-right Democratic League of Kosovo was elected by 61 deputies in the Balkan country’s 120-seat parliament after weeks of legal wrangling following dismissal of the previous government.

Albin Kurti, whose government had lost the no-confidence vote, filed a complaint to the Constitutional Court demanding its ruling on whether the Hoti government was elected legally.

Kurti had argued that the decisive vote of lawmaker Etem Arifi, from an ethnic minority party, was illegal because he was already convicted of fraud.

The Constitutional Court on Monday upheld Kurti’s argument.

Reporting by Fatos Bytyci and Ivana Sekularac; Editing by Chris Reese and Peter Cooney