Thursday, December 02, 2004

Kosovo's Pres Nominates Ex-rebel Commander As Premier

Kosovo's president Thursday nominated a former rebel commander, recently interviewed by the U.N. war crimes investigators, to the post of the prime minister of this disputed province.

Ibrahim Rugova nominated his former political rival, Ramush Haradinaj, as prime minister, said a statement from president's office. The assembly is expected to ratify the decision Friday during its inaugural session.

U.N. war crimes investigators interviewed Haradinaj last month for his role during the 1998-99 war between separatist ethnic Albanians and Serb forces loyal to former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

The move is risky because a war crimes indictment against Haradinaj could cause an instant government crisis.

The former rebel leader's nomination, follows a coalition deal struck nearly two weeks ago between Rugova's Democratic League of Kosovo, the winner of province's general elections and the much smaller Alliance for the Future of Kosovo led by Haradinaj, which came third.

Rugova's party won 45% of the vote, but failed to gain the absolute majority needed to govern alone in this U.N.-run province. The smaller alliance, headed by Ramush Haradinaj, got 8 percent.

No comments: