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Ibrahim Rugova: Staying Alive

Ibrahim Rugova. Copyright by AFP
Ibrahim Rugova

Ibrahim Rugova, was the man who dominated Kosovo Albanian politics from 1990 to 1998 and was then to rebound as president after the war and until his death in 2006 had several distinguishing quirks and characteristics. His trademark was silk scarf, which he wore everywhere he went except in August when he did not wear it at all. He had a collection of rocks which he liked to show to foreign visitors and says Judah, "oddly for a man who commanded such fantastic loyalty from his people" was "extremely dull". Rugova was born in 1944. His father had been executed by the Partisans when they restored control over Kosovo at the end of the Second World War. He had studied at the Sorbonne and studiously cultivated a rather bohemian air, which included a penchant for drink. Like most of the other founder of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) he had been a member of the Communist Party, although he had been expelled for voting against amending Kosovo's constitution. He was not first choice to lead the LDK and often Kosovo Albanian intellectuals looked down their noses at him. He was however politically adept and far-sighted:

After Milo

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