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Serbians Demand Intervention to Prevent Guerrilla Leader's Election in Kosovo


Serbian officials are demanding that Kosovo's chief U.N. administrator prevent an ethnic-Albanian guerrilla commander from becoming Kosovo's next prime minister.

In a statement Friday, the Serbian government called upon administrator Soren Jessen-Petersen to intervene and stop the election of Agim Ceku.

Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu Thursday asked Ceku to form a new government, one day after the resignation of Prime Minister Bajram Kosumi.

Ceku, who led the Kosovo Liberation Army against Serb troops in 1998 and 1999, says he is willing to assume the post.

Belgrade has accused Ceku of war crimes against Serb civilians during the fighting.

Serbia and Kosovo are involved in U.N.-sponsored talks on the future of the Serbian province. Ethnic Albanians want independence, while Serbia wants to retain some control.

The U.N.'s chief negotiator on the issue, Martti Ahtisaari, said Friday his job is to deal with the government leaders that happen to be in place.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.
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