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Kosovo Elects Controversial Millionaire as New President

Newly chosen Kosovo president Behgjet Pacolli (center)

Kosovo has chosen millionaire tycoon Behgjet Pacolli as its new president. Mr. Pacolli is the nation's second president since it declared its independence from Serbia in 2008.

Mr. Pacolli received 62 ballots on a third round of voting after having failed to garner enough support in two earlier rounds. Only 67 lawmakers were present by the third attempt, as most opposition members walked out of parliament to protest Mr. Pacolli's nomination.

Some lawmakers object to Mr. Pacolli's business ties with Russia, which does not recognize Kosovo's independence.

According to Mr. Pacolli's website, the construction magnate rebuilt and refurbished the former Russian White House, opera house, state parliament, a luxury hotel, several high-end luxurious residences and industrial complexes.

Hashim Thaci was re-elected prime minister, despite a Council of Europe report linking him to organized criminal networks involved in organ trafficking.

Some information for this report provided by AP, Reuters and AFP.