Behgjet Pacolli elected as new President of the Republic of Kosovo

Behgjet Pacolli was elected today as new President of the Republic of Kosovo, following a voting at the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo. After his election, Behgjet Pacolli took his oath before the members of the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo.

On this occasion, he made an address to the members of the Assembly and the citizens of the Republic of Kosovo, the contents of which you may read below:

Dear citizens of Kosovo,
Honourable President of the Assembly of Kosovo, Mr. Jakup Krasniqi,
Honourable candidate for Prime Minister, Mr. Hashim Thaçi,
Honourable members of the Assembly,
Honourable Rugova family,
Honourable Jashari family,
Honourable Haradinaj and Pajaziti families all other precious families of martyrs,
Honourable representatives of Kosovo Diplomatic Choir,
Honourable participants:

Today is a great day that marks the beginning of a challenge that entails a high responsibility.
You, dear members of the Assembly, elected me to keep on moving on road to accomplishing the vision of the historic President Dr. Ibrahim Rugova and the will of our heroes, the historic Commander Adem Jashari and all others who fell for an independent state of Kosovo.

I want to thank the President of the Republic of Kosovo Dr. Fatmir Sejdiu and the Acting President Mr. Jakup Krasniqin for their engagement and commitment to the function.

Dear citizens,
I feel humble in front of you today and I feel words are not enough to describe the moment.

Nothing feels better than being entrusted by people’s representatives to serve your people and your country.

I am excited, but, on the other hand, prepared for what I was entrusted today and I will do it in a dignified and responsible manner, by investing all my energy, knowledge and being.

I take pride in being one of you. Born and raised in a typical Kosovar family, I had to face challenges of a civilised life of the West, a life that was not easy for a Kosovar. I have often fallen during my journey, but I have always stood up and kept on going stronger than before.

That journey has also brought me achievements of which I am proud, because I have made them by engagement. These achievements belong to me and to my associates and relatives. Challenges faced and achievements made in the West had to be crowned with achievements in my own country.

I returned to Kosovo and recognised that this is where I belong, among my people. My heart beats differently here. Here I cherish the land and the sun. Everything here makes me happy, and the West fascinates me. The West is where I came from and the West is the destination that Kosovo aspires to reach.

I very much thank our western friends, the United States of America in particular, for the great support that they have provided and continue to provide to building and strengthening a democratic state of Kosovo for Albanians [in Albanian], for Serbs [in Serbian], for Turks [in Turkish], for Bosnians and Montenegrins, for Roma, Ashkali and all others.

Kosovo has won its independence and freedom and is building equality. Now we are building a state. This is what we all aspired to achieve and we engaged as much as we knew and we could, but we are still far from being satisfied with our achievements. A special achievement that Kosovo has made is its recognition by 75 countries of the world, which I want to thank on behalf of the people of Kosovo.

Kosovo has been facing arduous challenges ever since its liberation. These challenges are multiple and entail responsibilities that appertain to the function that you entrusted me today.

Kosovar’s efforts for a brighter future are Kosovar’s virtue rather than shortcoming. We have never succumbed to challenges or obstacles. Therefore, our efforts to strengthen institutions and a different Kosovo should be perceived as virtues and imperative of the time in which we are living.

We witnessed slanders, accusations and labelling of global dimensions that were directed against the state of Kosovo and its people, but I guarantee you, dear Members of the Assembly, that this was no extraordinary thing – the same has happened elsewhere too.

Extraordinary actions were undertaken during a process that led to Kosovo’s independence by Kosovars and internationals alike, actions that drew world’s attention. The independence of Kosovo was a success story; my own experience has convinced me that success may not be taken for granted. Kosovo and its people made an achievement; they made the history of the youngest state.

Today I assumed an uneasy task. I chose acceptance and engagement in preference to conflict and passiveness. I chose to work and engage in this path, which is a must for Kosovo and its future. I don’t believe anyone could find this easy, but challenges are there to be overcome, and my new assignment is a new challenge. Democratic institutions can be strengthened with the engagement of the government, opposition and civil society.

I guarantee that I will represent the interests of the people of Kosovo, regardless of their political affiliation. The office that I represent will provide for unity and stability and I remain fully committed to provide my service.

Dear citizens,
As President of Kosovo, I will always stand by you and deal with your concerns and I will do my best to find solutions thereto.

I will strive for the present and the future of the people of Kosovo, our children, youth, parents and veterans of all categories.

Within my possibilities and remit, I will strive for a better welfare and sustainable economic growth. Kosovo can do more and better.

I will strive for the protection of Republic of Kosovo’s territorial integrity, for equality between Albanians and other ethnic minorities and for respect of the rights of all Kosovars, regardless of their ethnicity, religion or gender – [beginning of section in Serbian] at the end of the day, we are all equal citizens of the Republic of Kosovo [end of section in Serbian].

I will strive for a state of rule of law and a state where no one will be above the law. I will strongly support the fight against corruption and organised crime and ensure the full independence of judiciary, by providing for optimal conditions for their work.

I will promote the idea for an open Kosovo that guarantees freedom of movement of its people, goods and services; for a Kosovo fully integrated into the big families of Europe, NATO and other world organisations.

I will promote the idea for the supplementation of the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo, so that the President of Kosovo will be elected by the free votes of the people in the future.

I will promote the idea of referendum as an important cell of democracy.

I will promote the idea of amending the Law on Elections, so that we can have free, fair and proper elections.

Kosovo was and remains a country that respects its neighbours and meets the requirements for neighbourly relations.

I very much thank the Republic of Albania and its institutions for an exceptional contribution provided to the promotion of the state of Kosovo.

We highly appreciate the willingness of Montenegro and Macedonia to boost good and neighbourly relations.

The dialogue with Serbia is important for Kosovo’s entire political spectrum. During the process, Kosovo will present its values and its idea and vision for neighbourly relations, where human rights will be respected and appreciated reciprocally. Principles of neighbourliness constitute the groundwork for regional and global integrations.

I will do my utmost to bring Kosovo among world’s respected and appreciated countries; among respected countries with a bright future and where the citizen is at the centre of decision-making, which is the essence of governance to me.

Kosovo deserves this. Kosovars deserve to live in a country with a bright future and we can achieve this by an unreserved and earnest engagement.

Youth plays a special role in this process. We must provide youth with better conditions of living and safer prospects.

With this mandate, we are entering the new stage of state-building in Kosovo; a stage when we must fortify the groundwork of the state of Kosovo further with a clear vision and no fear of the future. We will succeed, because we are resolved to succeed by way of professional and honourable engagement only.

Therefore, dear citizens of Kosovo and Members of the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo, LET’S ALL GET DOWN TO BUSINESS – WE ARE LATE.

Thank you once again and may God help us in our joint journey!
God Bless the people of Kosovo, God Bless all the peoples of the world!

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