Kosovo lawmakers to vote in new government led by capital's ex-mayor

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 08, 2014 4:52 AM

By Fatos Bytyci

PRISTINA (Reuters) - Lawmakers in Kosovo will vote in a new government on Monday led by former Pristina mayor Isa Mustafa, with outgoing Prime Minister Hashim Thaci becoming foreign minister, a senior aide to Thaci said.

The deal ends six months of wrangling between Kosovo's two biggest parties, Mustafa's Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) and Thaci's Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), since an inconclusive election in the young Balkan state.

"Kosovo's new PM will be Isa Mustafa. Hashim Thaci will be Deputy PM and new Foreign Minister," outgoing deputy foreign minister and Thaci aide Petrit Selimi said on Twitter.

He said parliament would vote on the new cabinet later on Monday. Mustafa and Thaci agreed the framework of a coalition deal several weeks ago, but Thaci's role was unclear.

The name of the new prime minister was not officially confirmed though a senior LDK official had told Reuters it would be Mustafa.

Mustafa was finance minister-in-exile in the 1990s, when majority-Albanian Kosovo was a southern province of Serbia.

Kosovo broke away from Belgrade in 1999, when NATO bombed for 11 weeks to halt the expulsion of ethnic Albanian civilians by Serbian forces waging a two-year counter-insurgency war. It declared independence in 2008.

(Writing by Matt Robinson; Editing by Andrew Heavens)