Short for KS by Abbreviationfinder, Kosovo’s constitution is based on the so-called Ahtisaari plan that Finnish mediator Matti Ahtisaari designed before Kosovo unilaterally proclaimed its independence in February 2008. Since the war in the late 1990s, the international community (UN, EU) has been, and is still partially, involved. in the rule and defense of Kosovo, but increasingly the country’s own institutions have taken over.
According to the Constitution, Kosovo is a democratic and indivisible republic. However, four municipalities in the north with a large Serbian population will be given far-reaching autonomy under a 2013 agreement negotiated with EU assistance. However, the implementation of the agreement is slow.
- Countryaah: Total population and chart of Kosovo for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also covers population density, birth rate, death rate and population growth rates.
The constitution is based on a division of power between executive, legislative and judicial institutions. The President and the Prime Minister, together with the government, have the executive power, the legislative parliament and the Supreme Court the judiciary.
The President is Head of State and is elected by Parliament for a term of five years. The election takes place with a two-thirds majority, but if two attempts to appoint a new president have failed, a third attempt with a simple majority will suffice. A president can be re-elected.
Parliament has 120 members elected in four years. Twenty of the sites are reserved for minorities: ten for Serbs, four for Roma / Ashkali / Egyptians, three for Bosniaks, two for Turks and one for Gorani (see Population and Languages). Thirty percent of the mandate is for women.
In the early years following Kosovo’s independence, Kosovo was overseen by an International Steering Group (ISG). The steering group consisted of more than 20 countries in Europe, including Sweden, as well as the United States, all of which had recognized Kosovo’s independence. The ISG, in turn, appointed a so-called International Civil Representative (ICR), who would oversee Kosovo’s state-building process in accordance with the Ahtisaari plan. The ICR also had powers to annul decisions made by Kosovo’s own institutions if they were contrary to the plan. However, these were never needed. In September 2012, supervised independence ceased and all ICR powers were transferred to Kosovo itself.
The parties in Kosovo are formed around strong leaders, often with anchoring in a certain region or with a certain people group. Political ideologies usually play less role in describing the political residence of the parties. There is a fairly broad political consensus on a comprehensive reform policy aimed at moving Kosovo towards EU and NATO membership.
The largest was for a long time the Kosovo Democratic Party (Partia Demokratike e Kosovës, PDK), with roots in the guerrilla movement Kosovo’s liberation army (Ushtrisë të irlirimtare të Kosovës, UÇK) (see Modern history). The party was founded by Hashim Thaçi and, since Thaçi was elected president in 2016, Kadri Veseli is led. PDK was initially left-oriented but now calls itself a center-right party. It led various coalition governments between 2007 and 2019.
The Kosovo Democratic Alliance (Lidhja Demokratike e Kosovës, LDK) was founded in the early 1990s by Ibrahim Rugova, who had a prominent role in the peaceful struggle for an independent Kosovo. LDK dominated Kosovo’s policy for many years but saw the origins of PDK as the largest party in the 2007 elections. LDK has since then both been in government coalitions and been in opposition.
LDK’s coalition partner after the 2019 election became the radical Albanian-nationalist Lëvizja Vetëvendosje (Self-Determination Movement, LV). However, the coalition was short-lived (see Current Policy). Vetëvendosje, as the party is commonly called, was formed in 2005 and has, among other things, opposed the agreement with Serbia (see Foreign Policy and Defense), often with drastic methods such as tear gas attacks in Parliament. Vetëvendosje went strong in the 2017 elections and became the biggest in the following elections, 2019. Founder Albin Kurti is a former student leader who has been sentenced to prison in both Serbia and Kosovo. He has advocated a Greater Albania and has started a party section in Albania. Kurti has been prime minister since February 2020.
The Center Party The Alliance for Kosovo’s Future (Aleanca p Ardhmërinë e Kosovës, AAK), just like PDK, has its roots in the guerrilla movement UÇK. Party leader is Ramush Haradinaj, who was prime minister for a short period of 2004-2005 and was re-elected in September 2017. However, in the summer of 2019, he resigned after being called to a court that investigates war crimes during the Kosovo War of 1998-1999 (see also Democracy and Rights). Haradinaj remained as the leader of a transitional government until Kurti took office in 2020.
The new Kosovo Alliance (Aleanca Kosovo e Re, AKR) is a middle party whose leader Behgjet Pacolli is a building magnate usually described as Kosovo’s richest man. Pacolli was president for a short time in early 2011 (see Calendar).
In spring 2014, two defectors from PDK formed a new party: Initiative for Kosovo (Nisma për Kosovën, Nisma or NK). Another new party, the Alternative (Alternative) was formed in early 2017 by two jumpers – one from Vetëvendosje and one from AKR.
The largest among the Serbian parties is the Serbian list (Srpska Lista, SL).
PDK wins local elections
Local elections are held and Prime Minister Thaçi’s Social Democratic PDK takes power in 20 of 36 municipalities. President Fatmir Sejdiu’s right-wing LDK wins the mayor’s post in Prishtina. Local elections are the first elections that take place after the declaration of independence. The election is being conducted without incidents with the exception of some minor unrest between Serbs and Albanians in the city of Mitrovica. Voter turnout is 45 percent, but significantly lower in Serbian-dominated areas.
Concern in Mitrovica
Noise breaks out between Albanians and Serbs in Mitrovica.
Joint security force
A new national security force comprising both Albanians and Serbs is established.