PRISTINA, Kosovo — Kosovo's first elections since independence from Serbia ended peacefully Sunday, with some minority Serbs ignoring a call to boycott and casting ballots alongside ethnic Albanians.
The elections for city councils and mayors in 36 municipalities were seen as a key test of the fledgling state's viability following its contested February 2008 declaration of independence.
Though results were not expected for hours after polls closed, party sympathizers were celebrating across Kosovo by honking their car horns, waving party flags and setting off firecrackers.
No major instances of unrest or fraud allegations were reported, though the run-up had been marred by tensions between rival ethnic Albanian parties, as well as the possibility of a boycott from the Serb minority. Stones were thrown Wednesday at Prime Minister Hashim Thaci's convoy, and there was an apparent assassination attempt Thursday on an opposition mayoral candidate.
Thaci had urged the country's 100,000 Serbs to ignore calls by Belgrade and the Serb Orthodox Church to boycott the vote, calling it a key test for his new nation. So far, 63 countries have recognized Kosovo, including the United States and most European countries. Serbia has vowed to block further recognition and has Russia's support.