Thaci: Independent Kosova still the goal

May 24, 2000 -- (RFE/RL) Hashim Thaci told a convention of his Democratic Party of Kosova in Prishtina that independence for the province remains his goal and that of the party, Vienna's "Die Presse" reported on 23 May.

The delegates elected a 61- member steering committee.

"Die Presse" noted that Thaci is having a difficult time maintaining the support of his former fighters from the Kosova Liberation Army (UCK).

Many more radical UCK members now back Ramush Hajradani's Alliance for the Future of Kosova, as do Azem Vllasi and some other former communist-era leaders.

Many moderate UCK supporters and former backers of Ibrahim Rugova have joined Naim Maloku's Liberal Center Party.

Both Hajradani and Maloku are widely regarded as heroes of the 1999 conflict.

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