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Kosovo court upholds nomination of new prime minister

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Kosovo's president called on political parties Friday to speed up a parliamentary vote on a new government after the Constitutional Court upheld his nomination of a new prime minister.

Kosovar President Hashim Thaci last month nominated a politician from the center-right Democratic League of Kosovo, or LDK, to replace Acting Prime Minister Albin Kurti. Kurti's Vetevendosje! party (Self-Determination Movement) had argued that the presidential decree nominating Avdullah Hoti to become prime minister was unconstitutional, claiming it was the only party entitled to form a new Cabinet because it won the most seats in Kosovo’s October general election.

But the Constitutional Court ruled late Thursday that Thaci’s decree was legal. The court refused to order another election as the Vetevendosje!’s requested. “I invite all institutional and party leaders to apply and respect the court’s decision ... (and) to work together for a regular democratic transition,” Thaci said at a news conference on Friday.

Kurti has led a caretaker government since he lost a no-confidence vote in late March initiated by the LDK, which at the time was the junior partner in his coalition government. He called the court decision “unfair, unacceptable” and said his party will make its next political steps known soon. adding that they will make known their next political steps soon.

Hoti’s LDK says it has the required number of votes, at least 61 in the 120-seat parliament, to secure his confirmation as prime minister. Kosovo declared independence in 2008 from Serbia, which refuses to recognize its former province as a country.

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