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Kosovo votes in key test for EU ambitions

Kosovo voted Sunday in a snap parliamentary election seen as a key test for the country’s EU bid and for Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, an ex-guerilla chief who has dominated politics since independence six years ago. However all eyes were on the turnout from the Serb minority in the north, voting for the first time since Kosovo broke away from Serbia, where first reports indicated a low number of voters at the polling stations. A high turnout from the 120,000-strong Serb community would be seen as a boost to Thaci’s dream of joining the 28-nation European Union, after last year’s historic agreement on improving Kosovo’s ties with Belgrade. Although Serbia still rejects Kosovo’s independence, it has encouraged Serbs to vote, to strengthen the 2013 deal which allowed it to begin its own EU entry talks.

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