(Reuters) - Former guerrilla Hashim Thaci bids for a third term as prime minister of Kosovo on Sunday, under pressure from voters angry over poverty and corruption and a war crimes investigation that threatens to ensnare his former comrades-in-arms.
Some analysts expect the closest election race since Thaci presided over Kosovo's Western-backed secession from Serbia in 2008.
Frustration with Kosovo's progress since independence is running high among many of its 1.8 million people, who rank among Europe's poorest. Around a third of the workforce is unemployed. Corruption is rife.
"The result of this election is the most uncertain of any election so far in Kosovo," said political analyst Astrit Gashi.
Fighting back, Thaci's government raised public sector wages, pensions and social welfare benefits in March by 25 percent, and promised to do the same again every year if given a new four-year mandate. That covers 240,000 people.
Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/07/us-kosovo-election-idUSKBN0EI0WT20140607