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Kosovo parliamentary candidate from ranks of Prime Minister Thaci's ruling party shot dead

Kosovo police say a parliamentary candidate from Prime Minister Hashim Thaci's ruling party was shot dead in an apparent assassination as he walked out of a restaurant.

Police said in a statement Sunday that Elvis Pista — a flamboyant politician recognizable for his spiked hair — was shot four times at close range shortly after midnight in the western town of Orahovac, his hometown.

Authorities believe a handgun equipped with a silencer was used. The killing comes amid heightened tensions between political rivals after Jun. 8 parliamentary elections.

Thaci's party won the most votes but lacks a coalition partner to form a government. Rival parties have vowed not to govern with Thaci, citing widespread corruption and mismanagement.

Final results were not in from Pista's race. Preliminary results showed him leading.

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