Ruling party claims victory in Kosovo election

Prime Minister Hashim Thaci retains his position after election with low turnout

Prime Minister Hashim Thaci retains his position after election with low turnout

PRISTINA, Kosovo – Kosovo's largest political party has claimed victory in the country's parliamentary elections, the electoral commission of Kosovo said Monday. 

Prime Minister Hashim Thaci and his Democratic Party of Kosova will remain in power after winning 31.21 percent of votes counted. The closest opposition, the Democratic League of Kosovo, received 26.11 percent. 

Thaci thanked his supporters for the victory and said: "It [election] is just a beginning for Kosovo to declare its independence. Kosovars clearly showed what kind of a country they desired."

The voting was monitored by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe observers in the Serb-majority northern region.   

The turnout was low for the snap vote, which was called early May after parliament was dissolved following a deadlock over a number of political disputes.

The polls marked the first elections to be held across the whole of Kosovo, including Serb-majority municipalities, after Belgrade and Pristina signed a "breakthrough" agreement last year.

The agreement, hailed by the EU, provides for the holding of elections in all parts of Kosovo, the establishment of an association of Serb-majority municipalities, and the gradual integration of the judiciary and police administrations in northern Kosovo into the country's legal and administrative framework.

Kosovo, which unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008, is recognized by more than 100 states, including the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Turkey.

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