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Kosovo: Ex-guerrilla chief named PM candidate

An ex-guerilla commander of Kosovo was chosen as party candidate for PM, after Kosumi resigned under pressure.

india Updated: Mar 04, 2006 11:49 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

A former Kosovo guerilla commander, Agim Ceku, was chosen as his party's candidate for the post of Prime Minister, after Bajram Kosumi resigned under pressure.

Ceku, the Kosovo Protection Corps general, "has shown his leadership qualities during the most difficult time in Kosovo, showing his deep dedication for executing duties," said the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) party.

"The alliance is convinced that Ceku will lead the government of Kosovo with great dedication towards reaching our joint goal, an independent and sovereign Kosovo," it said in a statement yesterday.

The Kosovo political turmoil is believed to be a scramble to fill the void left by late president Ibrahim Rugova, who died of lung cancer in January and whose strong leadership was seen as crucial in the United Nations-mediated talks on the future status of the southern Serbian province, run by the UN since 1999.

Kosumi announced his resignation yesterday, a little more than a week after historic status talks between Serbian government and its independence-seeking province had opened in Vienna on February 20.

It is not known yet when Kosovo's parliament is to discuss the appointment of a new prime minister, but Ceku's nomination is likely to cause a stir in Belgrade.

He was indicted in 2002 for war crimes committed against minority Serbs when he served in the Croatian army during the war there in 1991-1995, as well as alleged atrocities in Kosovo's 1998-1999 conflict.

First Published: Mar 04, 2006 11:38 IST