Thaci: West will recognize Kosovo independence

PRIŠTINA -- Hashim Thaci says the Western powers had promised to recognize the independence of Kosovo in December.

Hashim Thaci (FoNet)
Hashim Thaci (FoNet)

"Based on meetings I had with world leaders, I can confirm that it is only a question of when independence will be recognized," he told Reuters news agency Monday, Tanjug reported.

"We have assurances that the independence of Kosovo will be recognized internationally," said the former KLA leader, whose Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) is considered to be the favorite to win the elections scheduled for November 17.

Thaci announced that Priština would unilaterally declare independence "shortly" after December 10, the timeframe within which international mediators are to submit a report on the negotiations to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

Meanwhile, polls continue to suggest PDK is poised to win the parliamentary vote in the province.

However, Kosovo public opinion surveys suggest Thaci's party will not have enough seats in the provincial assembly to independently form government.

Analysts in Priština believe that the main reasons behind the ruling coalition's apparent imminent loss of power lie in its inability to tackle social issues such as unemployment, but also that of the Kosovo status.

Late Ibrahim Rugova's Democratic Alliance of Kosovo (LDK) will come in second, according to the same polls.

Shenti Krasniqi, owner of Index Kosova agency, told B92 that this demonstrated a time for internal changes in Kosovo politics has come.

"I guess the time for changes has come, because the ruling coalition has not delivered on much of what they promised to do, while many ministers and other officials have been compromised," he said.

"Voters apparently expect PDK and LDK to form an alliance, and believe that if this comes to pass, the status problem will be solved," Krasniqi added.

The LDK is led by Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu.

26 lists have registered for the parliamentary elections next weekend, 11 ethnic Albanian, seven Serb, two Ashkali, Bosniak, and one Gorani, Turkish, Egyptian and Roma each, while as many as 50 have entered the local ballot.