Serbia's prime minister calls for high turnout in re-run local elections

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Serbia’s Prime Minister, Ivica Dacic, has called for high voter participation in Sunday’s re-run local elections in Mitrovica.

The partial elections are being held after masked men disrupted voting in ethnic Serb areas earlier this month.

Addressing a rally in the Serb-dominated part of the northern Kosovan town he said it was up to Serbs to seize the opportunity to have elected officials.

“Serbia cannot help you today with guns and tanks. Not because it doesn’t want to but because they don’t allow us and because we cannot win that battle. Today we can win only with strong political connections and smart decisions, therefore your future depends on you,” said Dacic.

The Serb-run part of the city has defied ethnic Albanian rule since the end of the Kosovo war.

Authorities believe a group of ethnic Serbs ransacked polling stations during the earlier contest.

The local elections for councils and mayors are part of an agreement between Kosovo and Serbia on normalising relations.

Both sides have also agreed not to block each other’s efforts to join the European Union.

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