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Kosovo launches campaigning for June 11 parliamentary vote

Associated Press logo Associated Press 31/05/2017
Prime Minister candidate and leader of the Alliance for Future of Kosova (AAK) Ramush Haradinaj addresses supporters during the opening electoral rally in Kosovo capital Pristina on Wednesday, May 31, 2017. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu) © The Associated Press Prime Minister candidate and leader of the Alliance for Future of Kosova (AAK) Ramush Haradinaj addresses supporters during the opening electoral rally in Kosovo capital Pristina on Wednesday, May 31, 2017. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)

PRISTINA, Kosovo — Kosovo's political parties have started campaigning for the June 11 parliamentary election.

Some 19 parties, five coalitions and backers of two citizens' initiatives will be seeking support from 1.8 million voters. There are 120 seats in parliament at stake, 20 of them reserved for ethnic Serbs and other minorities.

The election is being held about a year earlier than scheduled because Prime Minister Isa Mustafa's government lost a no-confidence vote.

The most contested issues will be two agreements signed in 2015: a border demarcation deal with Montenegro and one with Serbia that gives more powers to ethnic Serbs in Kosovo.

The United States and the European Union will deploy election observation teams.

The U.S. embassy in Pristina strongly condemned "anyone attempting to influence the election process or the voters' choices" following "credible allegations of intimidation related to the election."

The embassy said political candidates, journalists, and their families had been threatened "across multiple regions of Kosovo."

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008. That has been recognized by 114 countries but not by Belgrade.

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