Kosovo ballots by October

SARAJEVO, Jan 14, 2000 -- (Reuters) The new head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said Thursday that municipal elections should be held in Kosovo by October this year.

The pan-European security body is charged by the United Nations with setting up an electoral system in Kosovo, drawing on its experience in other post-communist eastern European states.

"First of all we'll have to re-establish the mechanism for registration which was destroyed by the army and paramilitary forces during the war," said Wolfgang Schuessel.

"These elections should take place as soon as possible but they must also be prepared as thoroughly as possible," he added.

Schuessel said he expected preparations for elections to start in April and estimated they would cost between $10 and $15 million (9 and 14 million euros).

Kosovo remained under Yugoslav sovereignty after the 11-week NATO-led air campaign last spring, but it is administered by the UN mission in Kosovo.

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