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Ibrahim Rugova

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Ibrahim Rugova

Ibrahim Rugova (b. December 2, 1944) is the President of Kosovo and its leading Kosovo political party, the Democratic League of Kosovo.

During the many conflicts in Kosovo he has advocated peaceful means of resistance and of bringing about change. He was one of the founders of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) after Serbian President Slobodan Milošević had Kosovo's autonomy abolished in the spring of 1989. Ethnic Albanians declared independence, and began forming their own, unrecognized government, including health care and education.

In 1998, Ibrahim Rugova was awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

During the Kosovo War in 1999, he was shown on Serbian television as holding talks with Milošević, and lost much support for that, although many thought that he was coerced to appear on television. He was thought to be too passive by many ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, but as leader of the LDK, he was elected President of Kosovo in March 4, 2002.

He often wears a red silk scarf that has become a sort of trademark for him. His father and his grandfather were executed by Yugoslav communists during World War II.

On March 15, 2005, Rugova escaped unhurt when a bomb exploded in a dustbin as his car passed by.

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