Hashim Thaci’s “thumbs-up” gesture has become his trademark in election campaigns since he helped lead the guerrilla insurgency to throw off Serbian rule over Kosovo 15 years ago. The thumbs were on show again this week in the western town of Gjakova, where 46-year-old Thaci was on the campaign trail ahead of an election on Sunday he hopes will give him a third term as prime minister. The show of confidence, however, belies the pressure on Thaci from political rivals and a war crimes investigation that threatens to ensnare former comrades-in-arms and even his closest allies.
Whoever wins on Sunday, attention will turn quickly to an ad hoc tribunal to be created under European Union auspices to try those responsible for the alleged harvesting of organs from Serb prisoners-of-war during the 1998-99 conflict.
The findings of a special EU-appointed task force investigating the allegations are expected to be published “before the summer period”, a Western diplomat told Reuters. Another said the report had been delayed from early June to avoid disrupting the election.
Full Article: Kosovo votes under shadow of war crimes probe | Reuters.