POLLS have opened across Kosovo in a local election that will test the country's fragile relations with Serbia as they both seek to move closer to the European Union.
Serbia has called on Kosovo's Serb minority to participate in the poll organised by Pristina's ethnic Albanian dominated authorities for the first time since Kosovo seceded in 2008.
Some Kosovo Serbs want to boycott the elections fearing that by taking part they will validate Kosovo's secession from Serbia. Some ethnic Albanians believe the poll paves the way for ethnic partition by carving out a territory that would be ruled by minority Serbs.
Serb participation in Kosovo's political life is one of the key elements of an EU-brokered deal that seeks to settle the dispute over Kosovo and unlock EU funds.