Dr. Ibrahim Rugova, President of Kosova

4 march 2002  / TN / QIK

A Short Biography

Dr. Ibrahim Rugova, leader of the Democratic League of Kosova (LDK), was elected President of Kosova in a session of the Parliament of Kosova held in Prishtina on Monday.
Following is a short biography:

Ibrahim Rugova was born on 02 December 1944 at the Cerrcë village, municipality of Istog, in Kosova.

On 10 January 1945, Yugoslav Communists summarily executed his father, Ukë Rugova, and his grandfather, Rrustë Rugova.

Ibrahim Rugova finished secondary schooling in Peja in 1967. He graduated at the Faculty of Philosophy - Department of Albanian Studies - of the University of Prishtina in 1971.
Mr. Rugova spent an academic year (1976-77) in Paris at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes under the supervision of Prof. Roland Barthes, pursuing his scholarly interests in the study of literature, focussing on literary theory.

Ibrahim Rugova earned his Ph.D. degree in literature in 1984 at the University of Prishtina.

In 1996, Dr. Rugova was elected a correspondent member of the Kosova Academy of Arts and Sciences, the top Kosovar institution of scholarship and science.

Author of ten books (see below), Dr. Ibrahim Rugova was initially an editor with the Prishtina-based students' newspaper Bota e re (New World) and the magazine Dituria (Knowledge, 1971-72).
After that, for almost two decades, Dr. Rugova was with the Institute for Albanian Studies in Prishtina, initially as a junior, later as a senior research fellow in literature. He served some time as an editor-in-chief of the Institute’s periodical Gjurmime albanologjike (Albanian Research).

Dr. Rugova was elected president of the Kosova Writers Association in 1988, which was to prove as a strong nucleus of the mounting Albanian opposition movement to the Serbian/Yugoslav Communist rule in Kosova.

As an outspoken intellectual, Dr. Rugova was on 23 December 1989 elected president of the Democratic League of Kosova (LDK), the first political party in Kosova to directly challenge the ruling Communist regime. The LDK became soon the leading political force in Kosova, as it assembled the vast majority of the people, although other parties and groupings emerged in the meantime.

Under the leadership of Dr. Ibrahim Rugova, the LDK - in cooperation with other Albanian political forces in Kosova and in the former Yugoslavia, as well as the Assembly of Kosova - completed the legal framework for the institutionalization of the independence of Kosova.
The Declaration of Independence (2 July 1990), the proclamation of Kosova as a republic and the adoption of its constitution (7 September 1990), the national referendum on Kosova’s independence and sovereignty conducted in late September 1991, were a prelude to the first multiparty parliamentary and presidential elections in the Republic of Kosova held on 24 May 1992.
The LDK won a sweeping majority of seats in the Parliament in which three other parties were represented, whereas Dr. Ibrahim Rugova was elected President of the Republic of Kosova with an overwhelming majority of votes.

Dr. Ibrahim Rugova was re-elected President of the Republic of Kosova in the elections held in March 1998. His party, LDK won most of the seats in the Parliament of the Republic that year.

The LDK won 58% of the vote in the internationally-sponsored local elections in post-war Kosova in October 2000.

Dr. Rugova is married and has three children.
International Awards

In 1995, Dr. Rugova was granted the peace award of the Paul Litzer Foundation in Denmark.

In 1996, Ibrahim Rugova was conferred the Honoris Causa degree by the University of Paris VIII – Sorbonne, France.
In 1998, Rugova was awarded the Sakharov Prize by the European Parliament for his peaceful policies.

In the year 1999, Rugova was granted the peace award of the city of Münster, Germany, and proclaimed honorary citizen of Venice, Milan, and Brecscia, Italy, respectively.

In the year 2000, Dr. Rugova was granted the Peace Prize of the Democratic Union of Catalonia “Manuel Carrasco i Formiguera”, in Barcelona, Spain.

As leader of Kosova in the last decade, Dr. Ibrahim Rugova met the foremost Western leaders, including US President Bill Clinton, French President Jacques Chirac, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Spanish Prime Minister Asnar, Italian Prime Minister D’Alema, the Holy Father John Paul II, and others.


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