Kosovo leader launches 'opposition' party

PRISTINA, Mar 11, 2000 -- (AFP) A former Kosovo guerrilla leader announced Friday in Pristina that he had formed an "opposition" party to contest the first UN-sponsored elections against his erstwhile chief.

Naim Maloku, a commander in the now-disbanded Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), presented the Kosovo Central Liberal Party as "an opposition party compared with the two major parties tied to the United Nations administration."

He was referring to the Kosovo Party for Democratic Progress (PPDK), led by former KLA political chief Hashim Thaci, and the Kosovo Democratic League (LDK) of Ibrahim Rugova.

Both participate in the UN's joint administrative structure which was created in December, and which will also stand in the Yugoslav province's municipal elections that are due to be held by the end of the year.

"We do not oppose the UN administration, but there must be an opposition party able to offer constructive criticism," Maloku told journalists.

Before serving in the KLA, Maloku held posts in the armies of the former Yugoslavia, Slovenia, and Croatia.

Albanian sources in Western Europe reportedly consider him to be the real founder of the KLA, and a mastermind of its operations and organization.

Original article