By Talha Ozturk
BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) - Albanian nationalist opposition party Vetevendosje is set to come first in Kosovo's parliamentary election with 26% of the vote, according to preliminary results.
But in official results based on 80% of the vote counted early Monday, the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) party was close behind at 25%.
If the LDK coalition closes the gap to become victor, its leader Vjosa Osmani would be Kosovo's first woman premier.
The Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) was third with 21.15%, while a list headed by outgoing Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj won 11.6%.
Supporters of the Vetevendosje (“Self-Determination Movement”) coalition gathered in central Skenderbeg Square in the capital Pristina to celebrate the apparent victory.
The victory would mark the party’s first time in power.
For his party, Kosovo Democratic Party leader Kadri Veseli publicly acknowledged his party’s defeat, saying he accepted the decision of the Kosovar people.
"The Kosovo Democratic Party will move in opposition, but we will continue to serve the people and the state," he said.
Turnout in this election from some 1.94 million eligible voters was 44.18%, up slightly from 41.3% in the 2017 elections.
Due to the large number of parties, another coalition government is expected to emerge from the ballot box.
The former Serbian province of Kosovo declared independence on Feb. 17, 2008, and is recognized by over 100 countries worldwide, including the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, and Turkey.