United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today encouraged all eligible voters in Kosovo to turn out for Saturday's Assembly elections, saying democracy was about "participation and inclusiveness."
A statement issued by Mr. Annan's spokesman in New York called tomorrow's poll a "major step forward" in the implementation of the UN Security Council resolution dealing with Kosovo by giving the people there provisional self-governing institutions to ensure conditions for a peaceful and normal life for all inhabitants. "This should be a milestone in the development of an inclusive, prosperous and democratic Kosovo," the statement said.
"The Secretary-General fully supports the arrangements in place for the elections," the statement said. "He hopes that all eligible voters, irrespective of ethnic backgrounds or political affiliation, will exercise the democratic right to vote and choose their leaders."
Voters will be choosing a 120-seat Assembly and a provisional self-government of nine ministers at some 1,600 polling stations in Kosovo. There will be about 170 more in Serbia and between 10 and 20 in Montenegro. The results of the legislative elections will be announced Monday.
Speaking to reporters today, the head of the UN mission in Kosovo, Hans Haekkerup, said: "We will soon have an assembly, a government, a President of Kosovo," adding that the purpose of this process was to overcome differences and bring about reconciliation in Kosovo.