Election of Kosovo president illegal, court rules

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 28, 2011 12:14 PM

PRISITNA (Reuters) - The election of Kosovo's president last month was unconstitutional, Kosovo's highest court ruled Monday after an opposition party filed a complaint citing irregularities during the vote.

Opposition parliamentarians said irregularities marred the voting process when Behgjet Pacolli was elected president of the poor Balkan country of 2 million people.

It remained unclear whether there would be another vote in the parliament or if the president had to resign in the latest in a series of setbacks for the three-year-old country.

The Constitutional Court "by majority vote, with two judges dissenting, declared the decision of the assembly of the Republic of Kosovo ... concerning the election of the president of the Republic of Kosovo, dated 22 February 2011, unconstitutional," the court said without giving details of its reasoning.

The ruling was the second against a Kosovo head of state in six months. President Fatmir Sejdiu resigned in September after the same court said he violated the constitution by also serving as a party leader.

Multi-millionaire businessman Pacolli remains unpopular among the majority Kosovo Albanians largely because of his close business ties with Moscow, which backs its ex-ruler Serbia in opposing Kosovo's independence.

(Reporting by Fatos Bytyci; editing by Adam Tanner)