PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Kosovo's president set a June date for an early parliamentary election that became necessary after a majority of lawmakers voted no-confidence in Prime Minister Isa Mustafa's government. President Hashim Thaci also asked the current Cabinet ministers on Thursday to continue serving citizens until the election.
Thaci's decision to make June 11 the date when Kosovars will elect their representatives to the 120-seat parliament came after a meeting with political leaders. The next election previously had been scheduled to take place in about a year.
A statement said the president urged political parties "to show high political culture before, during and after the election, testifying once again that Kosovo remains an example in the region in organizing free and democratic elections."
Thaci also asked the European Union, international organizations and the civil society to monitor the June 11 balloting.
"An honest, democratic and overall accepted process should be our joint goal," he said.
The prime minister did not attend the president's meeting with the political parties.
The no-confidence vote on Wednesday suggested a break between the two partners in Kosovo's coalition government, Mustafa's Democratic League of Kosovo and the Democratic Party of Kosovo led by Parliament Speaker Kadri Veseli, who succeeded Thaci in the party leadership post.
Months of political deadlock have accompanied a proposed border demarcation deal with neighboring Montenegro that critics claim would mean a loss of territory. The Cabinet, as well as international experts, say the deal would not change the country's land area.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008. It is recognized by 114 countries, but not by Serbia.