Kosovo Assembly elects President Prime Minister as UN hails spirit of compromise

In a single, open ballot, the Assembly overwhelmingly elected Ibrahim Rugova, head of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), as President of Kosovo, and chose Dr. Bajram Rexhepi of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) its Prime Minister.Of the Assembly’s 120 members, 112 were present at today’s session, with 88 voting in favour of the proposed government package. Three voted against the proposal and 15 abstained.Nine cabinet ministers were also named, while the candidate for the post of Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development, which will go to a member of the Coalition Povratak, has not yet been confirmed.”In the spirit of compromise, your leaders have achieved a long-awaited Agreement. I am convinced that this Agreement can be the foundation for a better future of Kosovo,” UNMIK chief Michael Steiner said in a speech to the Assembly, referring to the accord reached last Thursday on the new government.”The Secretary-General of the United Nations has wholeheartedly welcomed the Agreement,” he said. “Kofi Annan urges you to make good use of it, and establish a government now.”Today’s Assembly meeting, which was a continuation of the inaugural session that last met on 10 December 2001, was convened by Assembly President Nexhat Daci, whose first act Monday was to accept the endorsement of the PDK members of the Assembly Presidency, Xhavit Haliti and Hydayet Hyseni.

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