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Kosovo presidential election ruled unconstitutional

Kosovo's Constitutional Court [official website] on Monday declared last month's presidential election of Behgjet Pacolli [official website] unconstitutional [press release]. The decision comes after a complaint was filed by opposition parliamentarians who alleged irregularities in the voting process by which Pacolli was elected. The court declared the election unconstitutional by a majority vote with two judges dissenting. The court found that the election was contrary to the requirements of Article 86 of the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo [text, PDF], which sets out the process for presidential elections, and "the democratic principles enshrined therein." It is uncertain whether the newly elected president must resign or if parliament will conduct another vote. The full text of the court's decision is not yet available.

This decision marks the second time Kosovo's highest court has declared circumstances surrounding the country's president unconstitutional since the country declared its independence from Serbia [JURIST report] three years ago. Then-president Fatmir Sejdiu resigned [press release] six months ago following a decision [press release] by the Constitutional Court that his dual roles as president and head of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) violated the constitution [JURIST report]. The fledgling country also remains embroiled in several war crimes proceedings stemming from the 1998-1999 Kosovo war [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive], including the recent demand [JURIST report] by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) [official website] that Albania and Kosovo investigate and prosecute alleged incidents of organ trafficking, inhuman treatment and other crimes by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) [official website].

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