Kosovo parliament to adopt new constitution on Wednesday

Other News Materials 8 April 2008 20:53 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - The Kosovo parliament is set to hold an extraordinary session on Wednesday morning to adopt, without any debate, the new constitution of Kosovo, the parliament's presidency decided on Tuesday.

Kosovo leaders signed on Monday the new constitution, saying it bolstered the legitimacy of their break with Serbia.

Kosovo, backed by the West, declared independence on February 17. More than 30 countries have recognized independent Kosovo, while Serbia and its ally Russia oppose it.

The constitution of Europe's newest nation, modelled partly on the US constitution, offers guarantees to minority Serbs in a country with an overwhelming ethnic Albanian majority.

Kosovo is "a state of free citizens that will guarantee the rights of every citizen, civil freedoms and equality of all citizens before the law," the preamble says.

The European Union's envoy for Kosovo Peter Feith's approval of the constitution was required to ensure that the text was in line with Finnish diplomat Martti Ahtisaari's proposal for internationally supervised independence for Kosovo. Feith approved it last week.

After the signing ceremony on Monday, the new constitution was presented to President Fatmir Sejdiu who handed it over on Tuesday to the parliamentary speaker Jakup Krasniqi.