Kosovo lawmakers voted to remove Prime Minister Albin Kurti, becoming the first nation in Europe to vote out a government over the way it handled the coronavirus outbreak.
The government collapsed late on Wednesday, just months after it took office. The vote was called by a junior coalition partner who criticized steps taken to curb the contagion. Kurti ordered a curfew and banned public gatherings on Monday to stem the spread, defying President Hashim Thaci who wanted to declare national emergency. The two officials have been at odds all along, mainly on how Kosovo should mend ties with Serbia and which one of them should lead those talks.
The cabinet's collapse is a setback for the Balkan state that seeks to gain full international recognition after it declared unilateral independence from Serbia in 2008. Its neighbor has been lobbying against Kosovo's efforts to join international institutions such a Interpol. Relations deteriorated again in 2018, when Kosovo imposed a tax on Serb products in retaliation for its steps against Kosovo.