Kosovan Serbs reject Albanian rule in referendum

Nearly 100 percent of Serbian voters in northern Kosovo have rejected ethnic Albanian rule in a referendum that has been dismissed by both Pristina and Belgrade, Agence France Presse reported.

A total of 99.74 percent of people who participated in the two-day poll said they did not recognize the authority of Pristina.

More on GlobalPost: Serbs expected to reject Kosovan rule in referendum

In all four Serb-dominated municipalities in northern Kosovo, where 75 percent of voters cast ballots, a mere 69 people voted in favor.

Krstimir Pantic, mayor of the Serb part of the ethnically divided city of Kosovska Mitrovica, told AFP:

"After the referendum, it will be crystal clear to ethnic Albanians, the international community and politicians from Belgrade that it is not (just) local politicians who do not want the Kosovo institutions, but that it is the wish of the whole Serb community living in the north."

The Europe Online Magazine said turnout among the 35,500 Serb voters was between 53 per cent and 64 per cent.

The referendum has no legal weight, and has been dismissed by Pristina, along with the international community.

Even Serbia, which does not recognize Albanian rule, nor Kosovo’s declaration of independence in 2008, had urged the Serbs not to hold the vote, the Associated Press reported.

Belgrade is hoping to win official EU candidate status in March – and many ethnic Serbs in Kosovo fear that it will give up its claim to the country, AFP reported.
 

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