Kosovo's lawmakers return parliament speaker

Kosovo's lawmakers replaced the parliament speaker Friday after the previous leader was dismissed in a political reshuffle. Kole Berisha replaces Nexhat Daci, who was also part of the team negotiating Kosovo's final status with Serbia .

The 120-seat parliament voted 102-2 with three abstentions in favor of Berisha. The remaining lawmakers were not present. Daci was forced out as part of a broader reshuffle within the governing coalition last week, which also included the resignation of Kosovo's Prime Minister Bajram Kosumi. But he refused to step down voluntarily, and accused U.S. diplomats in Kosovo of pushing him out.

U.S. officials have denied the accusations. Berisha is the vice president of the Democratic League of Kosovo, the party which governs the province in coalition with the smaller Alliance for the Future of Kosovo. Kosovo has been administered by the United Nations since 1999, and U.N.-sponsored talks aim to resolve its status by year's end. Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority insist on full independence, but Serbs want Belgrade to retain control, reports the AP.


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