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Kosovo: Vjosa Osmani was elected the new President in the third round

Kosovo’s parliament on Sunday elected Vjosa Osmani as the country’s new president, after receiving 71 votes in a third ballot after two failed attempts.

Osmani surpassed her rivals after receiving more votes in the February 14th elections, in which she ran in the coalition with the Vetëvendosje Movement list.

Vjosa Osmani was elected the new President after Saturday’s failed vote due to a lack of quorum, as opposition parties boycotted the meeting. The Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) and the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) boycotted the vote, while lawmakers from the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) participated in the procedure, however three deputies voted in favor.

The ruling coalition persuaded two lawmakers representing non-Serb communities, namely Adem Hodza of the Gorani One Party and Fadil Gashi of the Roma Initiative, to vote for Osmani in Sunday’s vote. PDK MP Adelina Grianca also attended the third and final round, prompting a backlash from the PDK which announced Grainca’s expulsion from all seats in the opposition party. The PDK also accused Vetëvendosje leader Albin Kurti of negotiating with Grainca and her family, promising her privilege in exchange for her vote.

Osmani was a senior official of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) who served as Speaker of the Assembly in the previous legislative term. She also served as President of Kosovo after former President Hashim Thaçi resigned in November 2020 following the Hague Tribunal’s indictment for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Osmani made a name for himself by criticizing former President Thaçi and his policies as an LDK official. She had recently clashed with LDK leaders, leading to her expulsion from the party. In the 2019 elections, Osmani was the LDK candidate for Prime Minister, but lost the election and the leader of the Vetëvendosje Movement, Albin Kurti, was appointed Prime Minister.

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