Lutfi Haziri (born 8 November 1969 in Gnjilane, Yugoslavia, now Kosovo) is the mayor of the Gnjilane and former deputy prime minister and minister of Kosovo for culture, youth, sports and non-residential affairs. He headed the delegation of Kosovo in the talks on the political status of Kosovo with Serbia in Vienna in February 2006. Haziri is a central figure in Kosovo politics and was a candidate for the successor of the late Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova for the chairmanship of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK).
Life and politics
Haziri was part of the students' leadership structures within the University of Pristina during the 1990s. Since 1990, Haziri was part of the structures of the Ministry of Defence of the unrecognised Republic of Kosova and in charge of numerous functions within the then existing parallel structures in Kosovo.
In March 1990, Haziri was elected President of the Youth Forum of the Gnjilane branch of the LDK and served as its president until 1997. In 1997, Haziri was elected as Deputy President of the LDK branch in Gnjilane as well as member of the General Council of LDK in Pristina. Haziri remained in both functions until 2000.
In October 1998, Haziri was arrested and imprisoned on charges of leadership of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) structures in the Karadaku zone (Gnjilane). After his release in August 1999, Haziri became Deputy Mayor of the municipality of Gnjilane, whereas in November 2000 he became mayor of the same municipality, in which function he remained until December 2004.
In June 2001, he was also elected chairman of the Association of Kosovo Municipalities. In this function, Haziri was also chairman of the Kosovo Municipal Delegation to the Congress of Local and Regional Governance in Strasbourg (Council of Europe).
On 3 December 2004, Haziri was elected as Kosovo's first Minister for Local Government. Also in 2004, Haziri was elected member of the LDK Central Presidency. Haziri is, amongst other, a member of the Network Board of Local Authorities in SEE (NALASEE), member of Kosovo Budgetary Commission, an honorary citizen of the Luterbah Municipality in Strasbourg, France and a member of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Haziri stepped down from federal politics in 2013 to run for the mayorship of Gnjilane again, which he won.
Haziri obtained a management diploma of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, certificates of Georgetown University, University of Colorado, a diploma from the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) as well as other recognitions from local and international organisations. Haziri is married with three daughters and a son.