Bajram Rexhepi (born 3 June 1954) is a Kosovar politician who is the former Interior Minister of the Republic of Kosovo and a member of the Kosovo Assembly. He was also the first elected post-war Prime Minister of Kosovo. He is a member of the second largest political party in Kosovo, the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK).
Early life and education
Rexhepi was born in Mitrovica, Province of Kosovo on 3 June 1954. He graduated from the University of Prishtina and completed his postgraduate studies at the University of Zagreb in 1985.
Rexhepi spent most of his career working as a surgeon and achieved fame as the best surgeon for circumcisions in the Mitrovica region. During the 1999 Kosovo War, Rexhepi joined the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and spent three months serving as a field doctor. He served as mayor of the Albanian section of Mitrovica, working with United Nations and NATO peacekeepers to implement ideas to diminish the civil unrest. As Serbs and Albanians had broken off all dialogue, Rexhepi offered to give up his position in favour of a UN administrator, but Serbs rejected this proposal.
In the general elections of November 2001 in Kosovo, Rexhepi's party won 25.7 percent of the votes, second only to Ibrahim Rugova's Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), and Rexhepi was appointed prime minister by the Assembly of Kosovo on 4 March 2002. In the following general elections, held on 24 October 2004, the Democratic Party of Kosovo came second and won 30 seats in the parliament. On 1 Apr 2010 Rexhepi was appointed Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo, replacing Zenun Pajaziti. On 22 February 2011 the Assembly confirmed Rexhepi in his post within the new Cabinet led by Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi