Kosovo parliament holds inaugural session amid delays

Aug 3, 2017

Kosovo's 120 new lawmakers were sworn in during a ceremony Thursday but the election of the new speaker was delayed amid doubts if the winning coalition can muster 61 necessary votes

PRISTINA, Kosovo — Kosovo's 120 new lawmakers have been sworn in during a ceremony, but the election of a parliamentary speaker was delayed amid doubts that the coalition that won June's election can muster a majority vote.

The choice for the speaker is important because it will indicate if the coalition, which includes former leaders of Kosovo's war of independence against Serbia, can secure the required votes to also choose the new prime minister.

The coalition, headed by former Speaker Kadri Veseli, won 39 seats in parliament in the June 11 election. It will need backing from other political groupings or persuade individual lawmakers to support it.

Parliament will reconvene on Friday to take up the issue.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, which is not recognized by Belgrade.