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Campaigning Begins in Kosovo for June 11 Parliamentary Vote

  • Associated Press

Kadri Veseli, leader of the ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), is greeted by a supporter during the opening electoral rally in Kosovo's capital, Pristina, May 31, 2017.

Kosovo's political parties have started campaigning for the June 11 parliamentary election.

Nineteen parties, five coalitions and backers of two citizen initiatives will be seeking support from 1.8 million voters. There are 120 seats in parliament at stake, 20 of them reserved for ethnic Serbs and other minorities.

The election is being held about a year earlier than scheduled because Prime Minister Isa Mustafa's government lost a no-confidence vote.

The most contested issues will be two agreements signed in 2015: a border demarcation deal with Montenegro and one with Serbia that gives more powers to ethnic Serbs in Kosovo.

The United States and the European Union will deploy election observation teams.

The U.S. Embassy in Pristina strongly condemned "anyone attempting to influence the election process or the voters' choices'' following "credible allegations of intimidation related to the election.''

The embassy said political candidates, journalists and their families had been threatened "across multiple regions of Kosovo.''

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008. That has been recognized by 114 countries but not by Belgrade.

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