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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 March 2006, 18:12 GMT
Kosovo prime minister steps down
Bajram Kosumi
Mr Kosumi - a former student activist - was appointed last March
Kosovo's Prime Minister Bajram Kosumi has resigned, citing the need to preserve the government coalition.

Mr Kosumi has been accused of being ineffective by some coalition members. He is a key member of the delegation in talks on the future status of Kosovo.

Former Kosovo Liberation Army commander Agim Ceku has reportedly been nominated to succeed Mr Kosumi.

Officially part of Serbia, Kosovo has been under UN administration since 1999 and seeks independence.

"I consider the resignation as a right and a moral act," Mr Kosumi - who was in office less than a year - told reporters in Kosovo's capital, Pristina.

The move comes amid criticism by members of Mr Kosumi's own party - the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo - that he has not lived up to his predecessor, Ramush Haradinaj, correspondents say.

Mr Haradinaj stepped down last year after being indicted for war crimes by the international court in The Hague.

However, Mr Kosumi has also fallen victim to infighting in the main governing party, the Democratic League of Kosovo, correspondents say.

The party voted on Wednesday to oust one of its own members, Nexhat Daci, from the post of parliamentary speaker.

Status talks

Kosovo's ethnic Albanians and Serbs held two days of talks in Vienna last month, which diplomats hope may lead to a deal on Kosovo's status this year.

Kosovo Albanians, who make up the majority, want independence.

Serbia is concerned about the Serb minority.

Kosovo Serbs want wide-ranging self-government for the Serb-inhabited enclaves, which make up 5% of the population.

There are about 1.5m ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, while about 100,000 Serbs remain following a post-war exodus of non-Albanians.


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