PRISTINA, Serbia (Reuters) - Partial official results on Monday confirmed victory for the Democratic Party of ex-guerrilla Hashim Thaci in the parliamentary election of Serbia’s breakaway Kosovo province, setting up coalition talks.
The Central Election Commission said Thaci’s opposition PDK had won 34 percent in Saturday’s ballot, beating the once-dominant Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) into second place.
The LDK saw its support collapse to 21.8 percent from 45 in 2004. The New Kosovo Alliance of millionaire construction tycoon Behgjet Pacolli came third with 12.1 percent.
The commission said the results were based on some 80 to 90 percent of votes counted.
Political sources within the PDK told Reuters on Sunday the party would likely seek a coalition with the LDK, its bitter rival since Thaci’s guerrillas eclipsed late LDK leader Ibrahim Rugova’s policy of passive resistance to Serb rule in the 1990s.
Turnout was around 45 percent, the lowest since the United Nations took control of the southern Serbian province after a NATO air war to drive out Serb forces in 1999.
European observers said the turnout was “alarmingly low” and revealed “profound dissatisfaction” in the Albanian majority province. The Serb minority boycotted the vote in protest at Albanian independence plans.
Full official results are expected in 10 days.
Editing by Richard Williams