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Kosovo calls local polls as part of deal with Serbia

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Kosovo has called local elections for November 3, with the vote expected to be the first covering the whole of the breakaway territory including the ethnic Serb-populated north, officials said Tuesday.

The last poll, held in 2010, was boycotted by the majority ethnic Serb population in northern Kosovo, who reject Pristina's unilateral declaration of independence in 2008.

Belgrade has vowed to ensure that voting for this year's election, called by Kosovan leader Atifete Jahjaga, takes place across the entire territory, and includes Kosovan Serbs, in accordance with an EU-brokered deal with Pristina.

Serb leaders in northern Kosovo have however said they will once again boycott the poll.

The April 19 accord sets up a certain level of autonomy for some 40,000 ethnic Serbs living in northern Kosovo, along the border with Serbia proper over which Pristina has almost no control.

Belgrade and Kosovo Serbs refuse to recognise the independence of Kosovo, although around 100 countries, including the United States and all but five EU member states, have done so.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130702/kosovo-calls-local-polls-part-deal-serbia