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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 March, 2005, 12:27 GMT
Kosovo parliament elects new PM
Bajram Kosumi
Bajram Kosumi say he will continue Ramush Haradinaj's policies
Former student activist Bajram Kosumi has been elected as prime minister of Kosovo's interim government, which is mainly ethnic Albanian.

He replaces former Kosovo Liberation Army commander Ramush Haradinaj, who resigned as prime minister after being indicted for war crimes.

Mr Kosumi, 45, deputy leader of Mr Haradinaj's AAK party, was elected in parliament by 71 votes to 36.

Talks on the final status of the UN-run province are expected later this year.

Mr Kosumi was nominated by Kosovan President Ibrahim Rugova.

Some Western officials had appealed to Mr Rugova to widen the base of the government in the run-up to the independence talks.

Mr Kosumi said he would continue Mr Haradinaj's policies, focusing on developing the economy, pursuing Kosovo's independence, and meeting human rights and minority rights benchmarks set by the international community, the Associated Press news agency reports.

Jail threat

Mr Haradinaj, 36, pleaded not guilty to charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity at the international war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

He is accused of atrocities against Serbs, Roma and ethnic Albanian alleged collaborators during the 1998-99 Kosovo conflict.

Mr Haradinaj could face life imprisonment if convicted of any of the charges.

The Kosovo conflict ended when Serb forces were driven out by a Nato bombing campaign.


SEE ALSO:
War crimes charge for Kosovo PM
08 Mar 05 |  Europe
Indicted PM still Kosovo 'hero'
11 Mar 05 |  Europe
Profile: Ramush Haradinaj
09 Mar 05 |  Europe
Text: Interview with Kosovo PM
17 Jan 05 |  Europe


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