Kosovo Vote to Elect New President Stymied

Kosovo’s parliament failed to confirm a new president Saturday, despite backing from the reformist camp that swept this year’s elections, with politicians resuming the vote Sunday after a night of deadlock.Albin Kurti and his leftist movement Vetevendosje claimed more than 50% of February’s vote, promising to eradicate corruption in the poor nation that has been undermined by political instability.The election of Kurti’s candidate — law professor Vjosa Osmani — failed to take place after the opposition and Serbian minority boycotted the vote leaving the prime minister and his candidate short of the 80 out of 160 members of parliament or MPs needed.“Due to the lack of a quorum, the session … will continue tomorrow,” parliament speaker Glauk Konjufca announced after several hours of stalemate.Under the constitution failure to elect Osmani, 38, would see parliament dissolved and legislative elections held with 45 days.It would be the sixth general election in the former Serbian province since declaring independence in 2008, in a move still not recognized by Serbia.Ahead of parliament’s adjournment Kurti and Osmani were able to count on 58 votes plus several MPs from minor parties.U.S. ambassador Philip Kosnett urged all MPs to take responsibility and ensure a quorum.Around 300,000 people voted for Osmani personally in the February polls, a similar number to what former president Ibrahim Rugova — considered the father of the nation — had previously won.She stood in as president for several months for Hashim Thaci who was charged last November with war crimes.