Hashim Thaci elected President of Kosovo

On Friday, February 26, the parliamentary majority in the breakaway enclave which separated from Serbia known as Kosovo elected the former leader of the terrorist organization “Kosovo Liberation Army” as the future head of state.

Noisy elections

Thaci was elected by parliament by his third attempt, gaining 71 votes out of a  total 120. His opponents included Rafet Rama, the “Alliance for the Future of Kosovo,” the “Initiative for Kosovo”, and “Self-Determination.” Kosovo’s streets became scenes of riots during the parliament’s session. The opposition threw Molotov cocktails and were met with tear gas and water cannons fired by police in response.

The Serbian position

It is significant that the faction including Serbian MPs of Kosovo (under the control of Alexander Vucic) remained in the hall during the election of Thaci while the Albanian opposition left in protest. Although Serbs did not vote for Thaci, their presence, in contrast to the Albanian oppositions’ withdrawal, gave him moral support. Hakim Thaci thanked them in his speech.

The Uncertain Future of Kosovo

The political opposition in Kosovo criticized the current government for the "bargain" with Belgrade with which, according to previous agreements, the Serbian enclave within Kosovo will gain greater autonomy and rights. In addition, many believe that Thaci is an incompetent politician. Between 2008 and 2014, when Thaci was Prime Minister, the economic situation of Kosovo only worsened while financial assistance from the EU and other Western donors disappeared. The troubling economic and social situation of Kosovars led them to migrate to Europe, where they were not welcome.

The Biography of Hashim Thaci

Hashim Thaci was born in 1968 in the village of Brokna of the Srbica municipality in the northwest of Drenica. His great-grandfather was a priest of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Thus, to a certain extent, Thaci has Serbian roots.

In July 1997, Hashim Thaci was sentenced by the Yugoslav tribunal to 10 years in prison for terrorist activities.

In 1998 Federal Yugoslavia declared an international search with the issuance of a warrant for his arrest.

After NATO's war against Yugoslavia, Thaci created its own government and proclaimed himself as prime minister.

According to Carla del Ponte, Hashim Thaci has organized the abduction and killing of people in order to sell their organs. The report of the Council of Europe, published in mid-December 2010, called Hashim Thaci the head of a "criminal group of Kosovo Albanians who are engaged in the smuggling of arms, drugs and human organs."