Kosovo's parliament to vote on new president

Kosovo's parliament will vote Friday to elect a new president for the province following the death of ethnic Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova last month.

The 120-member body will vote on to approve Fatmir Sejdiu, secretary-general of the governing Democratic League of Kosovo, as president at a delicate time of the start of talks to determine the province's future.

Opposition parties have not yet put forward any contenders.

Candidates must win a two-thirds majority in the first or second round of voting, or a simple majority in the third, to become president.

The Democratic League of Kosovo has enough allies in parliament to muster a simple majority, but it remain unclear whether Sejdiu can secure the post in the first round of voting.

Sejdiu, 54, is considered a moderate in the province's largest party. He has held various positions in the party since the early 1990s, and has served as a member of Kosovo's parliament since 2001. He holds a law doctorate and is a professor at Pristina University.

If elected, Sejdiu would replace Rugova, who dominated the province's politics for 16 years and epitomized ethnic Albanians' quest for Kosovo's independence from Serbia. Rugova died of lung cancer on Jan. 21, reports the AP.


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