Kosovo's Foreign Minister Steps Down After Election Graft Allegations

PRISTINA -- Kosovo's foreign minister has resigned amid allegations that her husband bribed election officials to help her win a parliamentary seat.

Meliza Haradinaj-Stublla announced on March 9 that she was stepping down from her position in the government and resigning from her political party, the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK).

In a Facebook post, the 37-year-old politician described her decision as a necessary step that would allow her to focus on her legal defense -- not an acknowledgement of any guilt.

According to local media reports, her husband, Dardan Stublla, bribed election commissioners to help her win a seat in the Kosovo Assembly at last month’s snap parliamentary elections.

Haradinaj-Stublla belonged to a caretaker cabinet operating until the new parliament convenes and elects the government.

The AAK -- a junior coalition partner in the government of Avdullah Hoti, which took office in June -- is not expected to be part of the next government to be headed by Prime Minister-designate Albin Kurti.

It received eight parliamentary seats in the February 14 election, which was won by Kurti’s leftist-nationalist Vetevendosje (Self-Determination) party.

With reporting by Balkan Insight, dpa, and AP