Kosovo gets new president, its second female leader

PRISTINA, KOSOVO (AP) — Lawmakers in Kosovo elected and swore in a new president on Sunday for a five-year term, the Balkan nation’s second female leader in the post-war period.

The 120-seat Parliament, which convened in an extraordinary session for two days, gave 71 votes for Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu, the former Parliament Speaker, in the third round of voting, while 11 votes were invalid. Two opposition parties and the ethnic Serb minority party boycotted the voting.

In November, the 38-year-old Osmani-Sadriu temporarily replaced former President Hashim Thaci, a guerrilla leader during Kosovo’s war for independence from Serbia in the late 1990s, who resigned after facing charges for war crimes and crimes against humanity at a special court based in The Hague.

Osmani-Sadriu, post-war Kosovo’s seventh president and its second female one, had the backing of the left-wing Self-Determination Movement, or Vetevendosje!, which won Kosovo’s February 14 early election in a landslide. The party now holds the three top posts: the president, the Speaker and the prime minister.

Osmani-Sadriu was the top vote-getter in that election.

Kosovo newly elected president Vjosa Osmani Sadriu. PHOTO: AP