Kosovo President resigns after court ruling

27 September 2010 - 16:55 By Sapa-AFP

Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu has resigned, following a court ruling that he breached the constitution by keeping a party post while in office.

"I presented my resignation for the post of Kosovo president today ... ," Sejdiu told a press conference.

"I was convinced that keeping the function of the president of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) without exercising it did not violate the constitution. The court had a different opinion and I respect the ruling," he said.

In a ruling published Friday, Kosovo's constitutional court said that Sejdiu was in "serious breach" of the constitution by holding the posts of president of Kosovo and of the LDK.

A complaint against him had been filed by 32 members of parliament.

Sejdiu's resignation comes as Kosovo is due to restart talks with Serbia about outstanding issues between the territories.

Belgrade has never formally recognised the independence of its former province.

Kosovo declared its independence in 2008 and, despite Serbia's fierce opposition, is recognised by 70 countries including the United States and the majority of European Union members.

In July this year Pristina was given a boost when the United Nation's highest court, the International Court of Justice, ruled that Kosovo's declaration of independence did not violate international law.

Earlier this month Serbia agreed to hold talks with Kosovo to try to pave the way for Belgrade and Pristina to eventually join the European Union.

After the resignation the interim president will be the speaker of parliament, Jakup Krasniqi of Prime Minister Hashim Thaci's Democratic Party of Kosovo, as dictated by the constitution.

Sejdiu, 58, became president in February 2006, replacing Ibrahim Rugova, who died of lung cancer a month earlier.

His LDK party is the junior partner in the coalition government led by Thaci's Democratic Party of Kosovo.

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