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Kosovo’s new and female president youngest head of state in Europe

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Summary of story from rferl, April 8, 2011

Kosovo’s highest-ranking policewoman and a political unknown, Atifete Jahjaga, this week became that country’s third president in seven months.

And at 36 she is the youngest serving head of state in Europe.

Ms Jahjaga replaced Behgjet Pacolli, a multimillionaire whose election on February 22 was overturned by the Constitutional Court as illegal.

Her election by parliament followed marathon negotiations between Kosovo’s governing coalition and the leading opposition party, mediated by US Ambassador Christopher Dell.

Backed by 80 of the 100 lawmakers present in the 120-seat legislature for the vote, she easily defeated her only rival, Suzana Novoberdaliu, who garnered just 10 votes.

She will serve for one year until parliament amends the constitution to allow for the direct election of the president.

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