CEOL
Deputy of Kosovo leader Hashim Thaci hands in resignation

PRISTINA, Apr 7, 2000 -- (AFP) The vice president of former Kosovo rebel leader Hashim Thaci's party told AFP Thursday he had resigned but gave no reason for the move.

Bardhyl Mahmuti, the number two of the Party for Democratic Progress in Kosovo (PPDK), said he handed in his notice on Tuesday.

"I do not agree with what is happening here," said Mahmuti, without going into the causes for his dissatisfaction. He did not disclose his plans for the future.

Jakup Krasniqi, PPDK Secretary General, said the party had not accepted Mahmuti's resignation, adding that he had given no reason for his departure.

"We think his place is here," said Krasniqi, but said Mahmuti was "free to decide his own future."

With Kosovo's first post-war elections scheduled for October, a number of new political parties are being formed in the UN-administered Yugoslav province.

The second-in-command of the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC), civilian successor of the rebel ethnic Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) recently said he would quit the disaster relief group to found his own political movement.

Mahmuti, born in 1960 in Macedonia, was a leader of the People's Movement of Kosovo (LPK), one of the parties behind the KLA.

He was the KLA's political representative in Switzerland and, according to Krasniqi, one of the rebels' most valued spokesmen abroad.

After NATO troops ousted Yugoslav forces from Kosovo last June, Mahmuti and Krasniqi formed the Unified Democratic Party (PBD) which merged with Thaci's PPDK, founded last November.



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