PRISTINA (Reuters) – A former minister-in-exile during Kosovo’s 1990s rebellion against Serbian rule was set to become the young state’s new prime minister in a grand coalition of bitter political foes that ends six months of uncertainty.
A parliament session expected to confirm the appointment of Isa Mustafa at the helm of a new government dragged into Monday evening and the vote was postponed for Tuesday.
Mustafa, leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), will replace former guerrilla commander Hashim Thaci, whose Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) won a June election but fell short of a majority and was forced to negotiate with the LDK.
The two parties, Kosovo’s biggest, are fierce rivals with a history of sometimes deadly competition for power since Kosovo broke away from Serbia in a 1998-99 war with the help of NATO air strikes.
Mustafa, a 63-year-old former mayor of the capital Pristina, will take on the task of consolidating Kosovo as an independent state, so far recogni-sed by more than 100 countries but blocked from becoming a member of the United Nations by Serbian big-power ally Russia.