Kosovo government collapses after parliament vote

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Kosovo’s government lost a vote of confidence in parliament on Wednesday afternoon, triggering early elections in the former Yugoslav territory, which has struggled to resolve contested borders and agree on political arrangements for its Serb minority.

MPs voted by 78 – 34 in favour of an opposition vote of no confidence in the government of prime minister Isa Mustafa.

Mr Mustafa opposed the motion, saying it would encourage “the country’s destabilization through creating a lack of trust in institutions, and an institutional vacuum,” according to the Associated Press.

The government has been plagued by legacy disputes over border demarcations with neighbouring Montenegro and the creation of an autonomous Association of Serb-majority Municipalities in the Serb-dominated north of the country.

The EU has frozen a draft agreement on visa liberalisation for Kosovans, citing lack of progress on the border agreement with Montenegro.

Disputes grew increasingly acrimonious during the government’s term, and parliamentary sessions were regularly interrupted by teargas canisters thrown by opposition MPs.

President Hashim Thaci is expected to call new elections within 30-45 days.

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