Fatmir Sejdiulisten (born 23 October 1951) is a politician from Kosovo. He was the leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) and was the first President of the Republic of Kosovo.
Early life and education
He was born in the small village of Pakashticë, Podujevo, FPR Yugoslavia. He finished the primary school and high school in Podujevë. On 1974, he graduated in the Faculty of Law of the University of Prishtina where he also received a doctorate. He served as a professor at the University of Pristina, teaching throughout his tenure as a Parliamentarian. He speaks Albanian, English, Serbian, and French.
Seal of the President of Kosovo
President of US George W. Bush shakes hands with Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu (center) and Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi (left) during a meeting in the White House on 21 July 2008, after Kosovo declared independence.
Fatmir Sejdiu (center left) with members of the Kosovo Unity Team and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Sejdiu was an early protester against Yugoslav authoritarian rule and had for many years in his academic office a portrait depicting himself and fellow political party leader Veton Surroi locking arms before the riot police. He has always been widely admired for being honest and fair in all his political dealings.
Due to persisting conflicts between the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and the security forces of Yugoslavia, the Kosovo War broke out in 1998. Accusations of widespread abuse by government forces towards ethnic Albanians in 1999 ignited the second part of the war in which NATO forces unleashed a bombing campaign against the government. The war ended in mid-1999, and Kosovo was placed under a UN Protectorate of autonomy where Ibrahim Rugova became the president of the territory. President Sejdiu succeeded Rugova and became the first president of Kosovo when it declared independence from Serbia on 17 February 2008.
Sejdiu served in each of the Presidencies of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) as well as serving on the Presidency of the Assembly of Kosovo and was one of the authors of the Constitutional Framework of Kosovo in 2001. He was an influential parliamentarian in the LDK, the party of former Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova. He was elected President by the Kosovo Assembly after Rugova died from lung cancer in early 2006. Sejdiu has won praise from world leaders for prioritising implementation of the UN-endorsed standards of good governance and multi-ethnicity.
On 24 July 2006, Sejdiu attended in Vienna the first high-level meeting between the prime ministers and presidents of Kosovo and Serbia to discuss the future status of Kosovo.
On 9 January 2008, Sejdiu resigned from his position as President of Kosovo to run again in the following elections held the same day. This would allow him to start a completely new term with the inauguration of the new legislature, given that there are no term limits established by the Constitution Framework. He received 68 votes out of 81 needed for his election after a third round of parliamentary vote, when a simple majority of 61 votes is required for the election of the president and regained the position. His opponent, Naim Maloku of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK), running with the support of three minor parties, obtained 37 votes in the first round. Sejdiu received one vote less in the second round, while 37 deputies chose Maloku. Sejdiu was elected in the third round of voting later on the same day.
On 27 September 2010, he stepped down from the post of president of the Republic of Kosovo following constitutional concerns. Prior to his resignation, the Constitutional Court of Kosovo stated that Fatmir Sejdiu was violating the Constitution of Kosovo, because he was both president of the Republic of Kosovo and also leader of Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK).
In November 2010, he lost the LDK leadership election to Isa Mustafa