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Kosovo Government Profile 2016

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Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Kosovo
conventional short form: Kosovo
local long form: Republika e Kosoves (Republika Kosovo)
local short form: Kosova (Kosovo)
etymology: name derives from the Serbian "kos" meaning "blackbird," an ellipsis (linguistic omission) for "kosove polje" or "field of the blackbirds"
Government typeparliamentary republic
Capitalname: Pristina (Prishtine, Prishtina)
geographic coordinates: 42 40 N, 21 10 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions38 municipalities (komunat, singular - komuna (Albanian); opstine, singular - opstina (Serbian)); Decan (Decani), Dragash (Dragas), Ferizaj (Urosevac), Fushe Kosove (Kosovo Polje), Gjakove (Dakovica), Gjilan (Gnjilane), Gllogovc (Glogovac), Gracanice (Gracanica), Hani i Elezit (Deneral Jankovic), Istog (Istok), Junik, Kacanik, Kamenice (Kamenica), Kline (Klina), Kllokot (Klokot), Leposaviq (Leposavic), Lipjan (Lipljan), Malisheve (Malisevo), Mamushe (Mamusa), Mitrovice e Jug (Juzna Mitrovica) [South Mitrovica], Mitrovice e Veriut (Severna Mitrovica) [North Mitrovica], Novoberde (Novo Brdo), Obiliq (Obilic), Partesh (Partes), Peje (Pec), Podujeve (Podujevo), Prishtine (Pristina), Prizren, Rahovec (Orahovac), Ranillug (Ranilug), Shterpce (Strpce), Shtime (Stimlje), Skenderaj (Srbica), Suhareke (Suva Reka), Viti (Vitina), Vushtrri (Vucitrn), Zubin Potok, Zvecan
Independence17 February 2008 (from Serbia)
National holidayIndependence Day, 17 February (2008)
Constitutionprevious 1974, 1990; latest (postindependence) draft finalized 2 April 2008, signed 7 April 2008, ratified 9 April 2008, entered into force 15 June 2008; amended several times, last in 2016 (2016); note - amendment 24, passed by the Assembly in March 2016, established the Kosovo Relocated Specialist Institution, a court established to try war crimes allegedly committed by the Kosovo Liberation Army in the late 1990s (2016)
Legal systemcivil law system; note- the European Union Rule of Law Mission (EULEX) retains limited executive powers related to the investigation of such issues as war crimes
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Kosovo
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Hashim THACI (since 7 April 2016)
head of government: Prime Minister Isa MUSTAFA (since 9 December 2014)
cabinet: Cabinet elected by the Assembly
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly for a 5-year term; if a candidate does not receive a two-third majority in the first two ballots, the candidate receiving a simple majority of votes in the third ballot is elected (eligible for a second term); election last held on 26 February 2016 (next to be held in 2021); prime minister indirectly elected by the Assembly
election results: Hashim THACI elected president; Assembly vote - Hashim THACI (PDK) 71, Rafet RAMA (PDK) 0 in the third round (10 votes invalid); Isa MUSTAFA (LDK) selected prime minister by the President in consultation with the LDK/PDK/PD/LB/PSHDK/PK coalition
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral Assembly or Kuvendi i Kosoves/Skupstina Kosova (120 seats; 100 members directly elected by proportional representation vote with 20 seats reserved for ethnic minorities - 10 for Serbs and 10 for other ethnic minorities; members serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 8 June 2014 (next expected to be held in June 2018)
election results: percent of vote by party/coalition - PDK/PD/LB/PSHDK/PK 30.4%, LDK 25.2%, VV 13.6%, AAK 9.5%, Serb List 5.2%, NISMA 5.2%, KDTP 1.0%, other 9.9%; seats by party/coalition - PDK/PD/LB/PSHDK/PK 37, LDK 30, VV 16, AAK 11, Serb List 9, NISMA 6, KDTP 2, VAKAT 2, other 7
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the court president and NA judges); Constitutional Court (consists of the court president, vice president, and 7 judges)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges nominated by the Kosovo Judicial Council, a 13-member independent body staffed by judges and lay members, and also responsible for overall administration of Kosovo's judicial system; judges appointed by the president of the Republic of Kosovo; judges appointed until mandatory retirement age; Constitutional Court judges nominated by the Kosovo Assembly and appointed by the president of the republic to serve single, 9-year terms
subordinate courts: subordinate courts: Court of Appeals (organized into 4 departments: General, Serious Crime, Commercial Matters, and Administrative Matters; Basic Court (located in 7 municipalities, each with several branches)
note: in March 2016, the Kosovo Assembly approved a constitutional amendment that establishes the Kosovo Relocated Specialist Judicial Institution; the court - to be located at the Hague in the Netherlands and expected to be in operation by the end of 2016 - will try alleged crimes by members of the Kosovo Liberation Army during the late 1990s; the court will be attached to each level of the Kosovo court system and consist of 4 Specialist Chambers with international judges and the Prosecutor's Office
Political parties and leadersAlbanian Christian Democratic Party of Kosovo or PSHDK [Uke BERISHA]
Alliance for the Future of Kosovo or AAK [Ramush HARADINAJ]
Conservative Party of Kosovo or PK [Munir BASHA]
Democratic League of Kosovo or LDK [Isa MUSTAFA]
Democratic Party of Kosovo or PDK [Kadri VESELI, acting chairman]
Initiative for Kosovo or NISMA [Fatmir LIMAJ]
Justice Party of Kosovo or PD [Ferid AGANI]
Movement for Self-Determination (Vetevendosje) or VV [Visar YMERI]
Movement for Unification or LB [Valon MURATI]
Serb List [Slavko SIMIC]
Turkish Democratic Party of Kosovo or KDTP [Mahir YAGCILAR]
Vakat Coalition or VAKAT [Rasim DEMIRI]
Political pressure groups and leadersCiviKos Platform [Valdete IDRIZI]
Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedom (human rights) [Behxhet SHALA]
Group for Political and Legal Studies [Fisnik KORENICA]
KLA War Veterans Organization [Muharrem XHEMAJLI]
Kosova Women's Network [Igballe ROGOVA]
Kosovar Civil Society Foundation [Venera HAJRULLAHU]
Kosovo Democratic Institute [Ismet KRYEZIU]
Organization for Democracy, Anti-Corruption and Dignity Rise! [Arton DEMHASAJ, acting chairman]
Serb National Council (SNV)
Speak Up [Petrit ZOGAJ, executive director]
International organization participationIBRD, IDA, IFC, IMF, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, OIF (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Vlora CITAKU (since 17 September 2015)
chancery: 2175 K Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20037
telephone: 202-450-2130
FAX: 202-735-0609
consulate(s) general: New York
consulate(s): Des Moines (IA)
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Gregory T. DELAWIE (since 21 August 2015)
embassy: Arberia/Dragodan, Nazim Hikmet 30, Pristina, Kosovo
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [381] 38 59 59 3000
FAX: [381] 38 549 890
Flag descriptioncentered on a dark blue field is the geographical shape of Kosovo in a gold color surmounted by six white, five-pointed stars arrayed in a slight arc; each star represents one of the major ethnic groups of Kosovo: Albanians, Serbs, Turks, Gorani, Roma, and Bosniaks
National symbol(s)six, five-pointed, white stars; national colors: blue, gold, white
National anthemname: "Europe"
lyrics/music: no lyrics/Mendi MENGJIQI
note: adopted 2008; Kosovo chose to exclude lyrics in its anthem so as not to offend the country's minority ethnic groups

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on October 8, 2016

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