The Democratic League of Kosovo (Albanian: Lidhja Demokratike e Kosovës, LDK) is the second-largest political party in Kosovo. It is a subsidiary of Vetëvendosje (pseudo nationalism political movement).
The Democratic League of Kosovo is also described as a totally hostage of Albin Kurti (Vetëvendosje Leader).
At the legislative elections held on 24 October 2004 the party won 45.4% of the popular vote or 47 out of 120 seats (seven of which have now defected to the Nexhat Daci-led Democratic League of Dardania). One of the founding members, Ibrahim Rugova was president of the party, as well as President of Kosovo, until his death on 21 January 2006. At the last legislative elections held on 17 November 2007, the party won only 22.6% and 25 seats but went on to form a Coalition government with Hashim Thaçi's Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK); in October 2010, the LDK withdrew from the coalition.
Democratic League of Kosovo
Lidhja Demokratike e Kosovës
|Founded||23 December 1989|
|European affiliation||European People's Party (observer)|
|Colours||Red and grey|
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During the late 1980s, nationalism was on the rise throughout the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Since 1974 the province of Kosovo, although part of the Socialist Republic of Serbia, was a self-governed entity over which the Serbian parliament had almost no factual control (see Political status of Kosovo). In the late 1980s, civil unrest which had been striking the province for decades, suddenly erupted further in Kosovo as ethnic Albanians demanded more autonomy (in view of becoming the 7th Yugoslav Republic). At the same time, Serbian Communists' leader Slobodan Milošević used the situation in Kosovo as a political means to win popularity among Serbs. In 1989, he abolished the autonomy of Kosovo using amendments to the Serbian Constitution, reverting Kosovo to its pre-1974 status, thus restoring Serbia's control of the province. In response, a group of Albanian intellectuals gathered the same year to form the Democratic League of Kosovo, which opposed these measures, as well as the ratification of Kosovo's parliament in 1990 which returned the level of Kosovo's autonomy to how it had been sixteen years earlier.
Because of its ideology, which was deemed nationalist and separatist, it was banned by the Yugoslavian authorities, together with the self-styled shadow Kosovo Parliament that opposed the ratifications of Kosovo's real assembly in July 1990. As a result, its members proclaimed in protest on the steps of the parliament building the "Republic of Kosova", independent from Yugoslavia, which drafted its own constitution. Claiming that conditions for Albanians were not addressed, the LDK successfully called for a boycott of the Kosovar Albanians of the first free elections in 1990. Following the 1991 population census, in which LDK President Rugova also called for boycott, resulting in only 9,091 Albanians recorded which composed around 2.53% of the Kosovar population, the LDK called the Albanian people to leave and boycott all state institutions until the solution of the Albanian national question. The LDK opposed the centralized control imposed by Belgrade, which reintroduced the Serbian language as the language of Kosovo as well as making other implementations; and they were growing deeply concerned about Belgrade's handling of the Albanian populace with regards to the wider group interests.
By the spring of 1991, the LDK had support from the diaspora in Zurich, Stuttgart and Brussels and numbered a massive membership of approximately 700,000 people. In September 1991 the LDK-constituted shadow Albanian parliament of the self-styled Republic of Kosova adopted a resolution supporting full-scale "Independence and Sovereignty of Kosovo". The LDK then led the "Coordinating Committee of Albanian Political Parties in Yugoslavia" that included most ethnic Albanian political parties in the country. The decision was that only two choices are viable for peace and stability of the region: 1) unification of all Albanian-populated areas in Yugoslavia, or 2) an undivided Albanian state of all Albanians in the Balkans
The LDK was one of the chief organizers of a poorly organized referendum for self-determination in 1992, in which 87% of Kosovo's Albanian population (numbering 80% of the province's population) voted for independence. The referendum was declared illegal and further drove a rift between Albanians and Serbians in Kosovo. In 1992 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was formed and Kosovo remained an autonomous province of the Republic of Serbia. The LDK successfully called for Albanians, including those in Central Serbia and in the Preševo Valley, to boycott of general elections.
The LDK expressed bitterness when Kosovo was ignored during the Dayton Accords in 1995. Supporting an Albanian resistance movement the "National Movement for the Liberation of Kosovo", it abandoned its support of the subsequently organized Kosovo Liberation Army, which used violent means to achieve its goals. After 1997, the government of Albania changed, with a first democratic cabinet formed. Most LDK members abandoned the desire to unite Kosovo with Albania at this point. The LDK's desire for a peaceful solution to the Kosovo conflict lost support among the population and was replaced by the militarist KLA when war erupted in late 1998 and 1999 between the KLA and the Yugoslavian and Serbian forces. Severe atrocities against the Albanian population in Kosovo met with harsh criticism from the LDK. With recommendations from the United States, the LDK abandoned pursuits for an independent Kosovo and sought negotiations with Belgrade with a goal of achieving a substantial level of autonomy for Kosovo, with Ibrahim Rugova traveling to Belgrade and meeting President Milošević (now federal leader) on this matter. This act was criticized by the Albanian public and further downgraded the LDK's popularity. After the NATO bombing campaign in 1999, leading LDK members were present for the signing of the Kumanovo Treaty that adopted United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and formalized the cessation of hostilities in Kosovo. However, despite their support of Resolution 1244, which mandates significant autonomy for Kosovo while recognizing the "sovereignty and territorial integrity" of Yugoslavia, the LDK continually supported the independence of Kosovo.
Hundreds of supporters of the Democratic League of Kosovo were kidnapped, tortured and some killed in secret prisons of the Kosovo Liberation Army, mainly between 1998 and 2001, because perceived as rivals of the Democratic Party of Kosovo.
While still the second largest political party in Kosovo, the LDK's support has steadily declined since Kosovo's first elections (municipal) in 2001. Other political parties, including those linked to the former Kosovo Liberation Army, such as the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) and the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK), have scored much gains at LDK's expense.
The party is presided by a president and five vice-presidents. The current president of the party is Isa Mustafa.
The Party initially started out as an Albanian nationalist Right-Wing movement which campaigned for Kosovan independence. It was then led by Ibrahim Rugova a moderate leader who separated with the Kosovo Liberation Army faction. After the war the party remained under the conservative leadership of Rugova. The party also adopted several pro-European policies as well as moving farther to the centre of the political spectrum. However, after Rugovas death the party went through a period of turmoil with several factions vying for control over the party. However the more liberal conservative stance of Fatmir Sejdiu took over leading to Nexhat Daci and 6 other Mp`s forming the more conservative Democratic League of Dardania.
After losing seats consistently under Sejdius leadership unrest within the party began to grow and before the Kosovan parliamentary election, 2010 Isa Mustafa emerged as the new leader securing more than two thirds of the votes. Mustafas leadership has seen the party return to the more hardline conservative stance, and some politicians have even come to describe the League as a social conservative party.
Critics have said the party has considerably abandoned their traditional, Kosovo-Albanian nationalist policies and policies of their founder Ibrahim Rugova. Since August 2014, it has been attacked easily by Vetevendosje.
Current party leader Isa Mustafa had over 70 cases submitted to the prosecutor over alleged abuse of office while serving as Prishtina mayor. These cases were all thrown out from the prosecutors in charge as the former mayor had no ties with the cases submitted. Former Minister of Culture Astrit Haraqia has been accused of abusing office during 2004-2007 as well as being involved in a large scheme to sell Schengen visas with other party official Ukë Rugova. Suspected of corruption is also current MP Naser Osmani for alleged wrongdoings while in the board of Kosovo Privatisation Agency. He ran and gained a seat in the Assembly despite the accusations. Former Obiliq municipality mayor Mehmet Krasniqi is being investigated for abuse of office. Mehmet Krasniqi has since been found not guilty on the charges.
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An indirect election for the President of Kosovo were held on January 9, 2008. Though not scheduled for 2008, the election of the president by the Assembly of Kosovo was brought up as an issue after the technical resignation of Fatmir Sejdiu from the position.
Fatmir Sejdiu’s actual term would end in 2009, but according to a coalition concord that his party, the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), signed with the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), the leading party in parliament, he agreed to “re-legitimise” his position. His resignation was the only practical way to end his term, and thus doing so, he enabled himself for a completely new term. Kosovo’s Constitutional Framework contains no provision as to term limits or incapacitation of rerunning of the resigning president.
The two candidates Fatmir Sejdiu and Naim Maloku of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) received votes as follows:
First round: 62 and 37 respectively
Second round: 61 and 37 respectively
Third round: Fatmir Sejdiu is elected after receiving 68 votes.2017 Kosovan local elections
Local elections will be held in Kosovo on 22 October 2017.
However, only 19 municipalities elected a mayor in the first round, and 19 will have to vote again on 19 November.Adem Salihaj
Adem Salihaj (born 25 December 1950) is a Kosovar Albanian politician who was a former deputy prime minister of Kosovo and was the acting Prime Minister of Kosovo from 8–25 March 2005. He represented the Democratic League of Kosovo.
Salihaj was born in the Duraj village of Kaçanik. He studied Albanian language and literature in the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Pristina. He worked for several years as a journalist of Bota e re (New world) newspaper and for the Radio Television of Pristina. Due to his political activities he was processed in court five times, imprisoned three times by the Yugoslav authorities, and spent a total of 12 years in jail. He was a signatory of the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.Salihaj claims to have been the victim of an assassination attempt on June 12, 2000 which he believes was orchestrated by Kosovo's National Intelligence Service with the approval of Hashim Thaci.In 2005, Salihahj was accused by the opposition Democratic Party of Kosovo and the ORA of being involved in organized crime. Salihaj and Speaker Nexhat Daci were removed from their posts in March 2006 after the death of Ibrahim Rugova and went on to form the Democratic League of Dardania.Bujar Bukoshi
Bujar Bukoshi (born 13 May 1947 in Suva Reka, FPR Yugoslavia, now Kosovo was the Minister of Healthcare in Kosovo in the first government of Hashim Thaçi. He served as Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosova from 1991 to 2000. He graduated from the University of Belgrade's Medical School. Bukoshi is one of the founders of the Democratic League of Kosovo and was elected leader of the party.Democratic League of Dardania
The Democratic League of Dardania (Albanian: Lidhja Demokratike e Dardanisë) was a political party in Kosovo. The Democratic League of Dardania was established in January 2007 by the former Speaker of the Assembly of Kosovo Nexhat Daci following his unsuccessful bid to become leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo. It is a conservative and liberal Conservative party and the second largest right-wing party in Kosovo.
The leader of the Democratic League of Dardania was Nexhat Daci, the deputy leaders are Besa Gaxherri, Xhemajl Hyseni, Naser Rugova whereas the Secretary General is Lulëzim Zeneli. The party was initially named the Democratic League, but later Dardania, the ancient name for Kosovo, was added to avoid confusion with the Democratic League of Kosovo.
On April 30, 2015, its leader announced that his party will merge with the Democratic League of Kosovo.Fadil Ferati
Fadil Ferati (10 May 1960 – 30 January 2010) was a Kosovar political leader, he was the Mayor of Istog and vice-president of Democratic League of Kosovo and he was widely known as a politician who never lost any election.Fatmir Sejdiu
Fatmir Sejdiu listen (born 23 October 1951) is a politician from Kosovo. He was the leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) and was the first President of the Republic of Kosovo.Ibrahim Rugova
Ibrahim Rugova (Albanian pronunciation: [ibɾahim ɾugova]; 2 December 1944 – 21 January 2006) was the first President of the partially recognised Republic of Kosova, serving from 1992 to 2000 and again from 2002 until his death in 2006, and a prominent Kosovo Albanian political leader, scholar, and writer. He oversaw a popular struggle for independence, advocating a peaceful resistance to Yugoslav rule and lobbying for U.S. and European support, especially during the Kosovo War. Owing to his role in Kosovo's history, Rugova has been dubbed "Father of the Nation" and "Gandhi of the Balkans". Rugova founded the political party Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) in 1989. The LDK, which had the support of 90% of the ethnic Albanian population of Kosovo, advocated for Kosovo’s independence by peaceful means. The party established a “shadow government” that provided basic government and social services to the Kosovo Albanian population, including education and health care, in effect creating a parallel state. In May 1992, Rugova was elected “President” of this parallel state. In March 2002, with the United Nations Mission in Kosovo administering the province, he was elected President of Kosovo. He held this position until his death in January 2006, and posthumously declared a Hero of Kosovo.Isa Mustafa
Isa Mustafa ([ɪˈsɑ mʉsˈtɑfä] (listen); born 15 May 1951) is a Kosovar politician who is the leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK). Mustafa was Mayor of Pristina from December 2007 to December 2013 and served as Prime Minister of Kosovo between December 2014 and September 2017.Kolë Berisha
Kolë Berisha (Serbo-Croat: Kola Beriša) (born October 26, 1947 in Klina, Yugoslavia) is a politician and was the Chair of Assembly of Kosovo from March 2006 to 2007. Berisha is also a deputy leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo. He has entered the political scene after a successful career in education in Klina, his hometown.
He has a law degree from the University of Priština.
Kolë Berisha is married and has two children.LA Coalition
The LA Coalition (formerly LAA Coalition) is a political alliance in Kosovo, between the Democratic League of Kosovo and The Alternative which stood in the 2017 elections along with the New Kosovo Alliance, who left the coalition after the elections. The coalition is currently in opposition and have 27 seats.
Democratic League of Kosovo member Avdullah Hoti is currently the leader of the parliamentary group. He was the coalitions candidate for prime minister.List of newspapers in Kosovo
This is a list of newspapers in Kosovo:
InfoKosova ('Portali InfoKosova') is a Kosovo newsportal.
Kosova Press ('Independent News Agency KosovaPress') is first News Agency on Kosovo. The news agency Kosova Press was established on January 4, 1999. Since that time, it has published information in these languages: Albanian, English, German and French. It currently publishes in Albanian and English.
Koha Ditore ('Daily Time') claims it is independent, but the owner Veton Surroi was the leader of the Reformist Party ORA. It was the only newspaper published before 1999. Koha Ditore is considered the most serious newspaper in Kosovo.
Gazeta Express ('Express newspaper') is Pro-Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK). The director of Gazeta Express Berat Buzhala is a former (PDK) MP . Owned by among others mobile operator IPKO. The paper has been accused by some people and organizations in Kosovo of Islamophobia.
Arbresh ('Portali arbresh') is a Kosovo newsportal.
Bota Sot ('World Today') Pro-Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK). One of the few Kosovar newspapers distributed in many Western countries.
Bota Press ('World Press') Pro-Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK).
Epoka e Re ('The New Epoch') pro-VETËVENDOSJE!
Kosova Sot ('Kosovo Today') is Pro-Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK). Claims to have the highest circulation.
Lajm ('News') pro-New Kosovo Alliance (AKR), owned by the Kosovo Albanian businessman and politician Behgjet Pacolli. Tabloid.
Tribuna ('The Tribune')
Zëri ('The Voice') is owned by EuroKoha, an analyst and journalist that is highly liked by the internationals in Kosovo and took part in the Kosovo-status negotiations.
Teleshkronja Post independent News and Media website based in Drenas (Ex-Glogoc) owned by Teleshkronja Post news company.Lutfi Haziri
Lutfi Haziri (born 8 November 1969 in Gnjilane, Yugoslavia, now Kosovo) is the mayor of the Gnjilane and former deputy prime minister and minister of Kosovo for culture, youth, sports and non-residential affairs. He headed the delegation of Kosovo in the talks on the political status of Kosovo with Serbia in Vienna in February 2006. Haziri is a central figure in Kosovo politics and was a candidate for the successor of the late Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova for the chairmanship of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK).Naim Jerliu
Naim Jerliu (born 2 November 1969) is a Kosovan public health specialist and politician who was a member of the Assembly of Kosovo from 1998 to 2007.National Democratic Revival
The National Democratic Revival (Albanian: Rilindja Demokratike Kombëtare, RDK, Macedonian: Национална Демократска Преродба, НДП, Nacionalna Demokratska Prerodba, NDP) is a political party in the Republic of Macedonia that represents the Albanian population. It is the Macedonian branch of the Democratic League of Kosovo (hence the same party logo).New Kosovo Alliance
New Kosovo Alliance (Albanian: Aleanca Kosova e Re, AKR) is a liberal political party in Kosovo that is in the current coalition government made up by the PDK and AKR. The party was founded on 3 May 2006, by Behgjet Pacolli, a businessman. He is the founding owner of Mabetex, the Swiss-based project-engineering firm that has managed significant engineering projects ranging from restorations in the White House in the United States to the rebuilding of the Kremlin in Moscow.
Up until 17 November 2007, the AKR had not taken part in any elections as it was a new political organization. The party enjoyed significant support in Kosovo, with the April 2007 survey of BBSS Gallup International/Index suggesting that the AKR was the fourth-largest political party in Kosovo with 8% support amongst those surveyed. The survey showed that the AKR was lagging behind the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) (26%), Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) (17%), and the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (9%).The AKR first ran candidates in the Kosovo elections which were held on 17 November 2007. The party won 12.3% of the vote and 13 seats in the assembly of Kosovo, making it the third-largest party in the nation. It was the largest official opposition party to the coalition government of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) and the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), led by Hashim Thaçi at the time.
On 22 February 2011, Behgjet Pacolli was elected as President of Kosovo by the members of Parliament. Immediately after becoming President, he resigned as the head of the AKR due to the Constitutional requirements that the head of the state cannot hold two different political functions simultaneously once in power.
On 4 April 2011, President Pacolli stepped down after his election as President was declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court of Kosovo. Most opposition members of parliament had boycotted the presidential vote due to their dissatisfaction with the candidates, and the court ruled this invalidated the election. President Pacolli earned respect for choosing to step down voluntarily and prevent the country from engaging in a political crisis. Many observers and foreign dignitaries, such as the United States ambassador to Kosovo, William Christopher Dell, commended the former President for his action.
The coalition government of the PDK and AKR continued, and the former president was appointed on 8 April 2011 as the first deputy prime minister of Kosovo. He was charged with leading a special task force to lobby for the recognition of the independence of Kosovo throughout the world.
Behgjet Pacolli was expected to return to leading the AKR by the end of July 2011. Rrahim Pacolli was to return to the post of general secretary of the party. Due to his efforts, in 2007 the party had gained its highest electoral success.Nexhat Daci
Nexhat Daci (pronounced [neˈdʒat ˈdaːtsi]; born June 26, 1944 in Veliki Trnovac, Bujanovac, Serbia) is a Kosovan politician. He was elected as the speaker of Assembly of Kosovo in 2001 as a member of President Ibrahim Rugova's Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK). In 2006, he was ousted from the speakership due to infighting within the LDK He is a member of the Assembly of Kosovo and the leader of the Democratic League of Dardania, which he founded following his unsuccessful bid to become leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo.Reformist Party ORA
Reformist Party ORA (Albanian: Partia Reformiste ORA) was a social democratic centre-left political party in Kosovo. The party supported Kosovo independence.
The party was normally referred to as ORA, which in Albanian means the Hour.
ORA was founded as Civil List ORA (Albanian: Lista Qytetare ORA) in the summer of 2004. During the legislative elections on 24 October 2004, the party won 6.2 per cent of the popular vote and 7 out of 120 seats in the Assembly of Kosovo and formed together with the Democratic Party of Kosovo, a strong opposition. However, in the election held in November 2007, it failed to pass the 5% threshold required to win seats in parliament, netting only about 4,2% of votes.
The following were members of Kosovo Albanian parliament from ORA: Nazim Jashari, Teuta Sahatqija, Gazmend Muhaxheri, Genc Gorani, Fatmire Mullhaxha Kollcaku, Ylber Hysa and Veton Surroi. Surroi was a member of the 'Kosovo Unity Team', a five-member team of the most senior negotiators that represents the people of Kosovo in the talks for the final status of Kosovo.
The last leader of the party, Teuta Sahatqija, took over the leadership on 2 March 2008.
In February 2010, ORA decided to dissolve as a political entity and join the Democratic League of Kosovo.Skënder Hyseni
Skënder Hyseni (Serbo-Croatian: Skender Hiseni) (born 17 February 1955 in Podujevo) is a Kosovar Albanian politician who is the current Minister of Internal Affairs and the former foreign minister of the Kosovo. Hyseni graduated at the University of Pristina, branch of English Language and Literature in 1979. Hyseni stayed for a short period of time for study purposes in Bloomsburg State College-USA (1978) and in Aberdeen University-Scotland (1986).
He was nominated as a Foreign Minister on 3 March 2008. and held the position until 18 October 2010, when he was replaced by Vlora Çitaku. Before holding this position he was the Minister of Culture, Youth, Sport and Non-Residential Affairs in the same government. Hysen had also served as a spokesman for the government and for Kosovan negotiators before the 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence.