People's Movement of Kosovo

The People's Movement of Kosovo (Albanian: Lëvizja Popullore e Kosovës - LPK) was a political party in Kosovo[a] active after the Kosovo War, having originally been founded as a political movement of Albanian nationalists in 1981. Despite participating in several elections in autonomous Kosovo, its pre-war existence was its most historically significant period. Historically, its support and membership came from Albanian diaspora, especially within Switzerland and Germany, originating mainly from former Yugoslav republics.

People's Movement of Kosovo
Lëvizja Popullore e Kosovës
Merged intoVetëvendosje
NewspaperZëri i Kosovës
Albanian nationalism
Kosovar–Albanian unionism
until 1990
Political positionLeft-wing
ColoursRed, Black and Yellow


The LPK was formed in the early 1980s, during the turmoil which would bring the Albanian population of Yugoslavia to wider attention. During the 1981 protests in Kosovo, protesters demanded that Kosovo become a republic within the Yugoslav Federation.[1] The movement was crystallized on Feb 17th, 1982, in Switzerland, as a Marxist-Leninist union of Albanian diaspora organizations with support and sympathy for/from the communist regime of Enver Hoxha,[2] struggling for the rights of Albanians throughout Yugoslavia and unification with Albania, originally named LRSHJ, to be renamed later as PMK.[3][4]

The LPK's ideology was left-wing nationalism. Peter Schwarz, while talking about KLA in "Kosovo and the crisis in the Atlantic Alliance", (Sep, 1st, 1999), states: "In Germany a ban was in the course of being implemented against the core of the party, the Enver Hoxha-oriented KPM (Kosovo People's Movement)".[5] Robert Elsie states in his Historical Dictionary of Kosovo, 2011 that: "It was initially Marxist-oriented, seeing Kosova's salvation in Albania and thus supporting the regime of Enver Hoxha".[6] The Marxist–Leninist orientation was necessary in order to achieve support from Albania, and was abandoned after fall of communism in Albania.


The three core organizations that constituted the LPK were the Marxist–Leninist Communist Party of Albanians in Yugoslavia (Albanian: Partia Komuniste Marksiste-Leniniste e Shqiptarëve në Jugosllavi - PKMLSHJ), the National Liberation Movement of Kosovo and Other Albanian Regions (Albanian: Lëvizjes Nacionalçlirimtare të Kosovës dhe Viseve të tjera Shqiptare - LNÇKVSHJ)[b] and the Marxist–Leninist Organization of Kosovo (Albanian: Organizata Marksiste Leniniste e Kosovës - OMLK).[c] The negotiations had started on late November 1981, failing for the first time in Istanbul between Sabri Novosella and Abdullah Prapashtica despite the support of Albanian Ambassador in Turkey. The movement's platform would be based on that of the more moderate PKMLSHJ, shifted aimed for an Albanian Republic within Yugoslavia, while the other two organizations had the goal of unifying Kosovo with Albania.

There is some controversy regarding the exact identity of the founders of the LPK. One of its founders, Abdullah Prapashtica, has stated that the movement's executive committee included Osman Osmani, Faton Topalli, Ibrahim Kelmendi, Sabri Novosella, Jusuf Gërvalla, Bardhosh Gërvalla, Xhafer Durmishi, Kadri Zeka, Hasan Mala, Xhafer Shatri, and Nuhi Sylejmani (joining after the execution of Gërvalla brothers),[7] while others like Emrush Xhemajli give slightly different names and circumstances.[8]

Activity until 1998Edit

The LPK remained active throughout Europe and continuously sponsored and supported insurgents, propaganda, and activities inside Yugoslavia, as well as lobbying for the Albanian national cause. Many would be imprisoned or killed by Yugoslav authorities.[9] On 17 January 1982, Jusuf Gërvalla, Kadri Zeka and Bardhosh Gërvalla were executed in Untergruppenbach, West Germany from Yugoslav secret service secret agents.[10][11] Two other members, Rexhep Mala and Nuhi Berisha died in a shoot-out with Yugoslav police forces in a Prishtina neighbourhood (today "Kodra e Trimave") on 11 January 1984.[12] On November 2, 1989, Afrim Zhitia and Fahri Fazliu would die in a similar shoot-out (from 12:45 till around 19:00) after being surrounded by Serbian police in the "Kodra e Diellit" neighborhood of Pristina.[13]

Despite the difficulties, the LPK would diligently continue to be the main representative of the Albanian resistance against Serbian rule until December 1989, when Ibrahim Rugova and other intellectuals in Kosovo founded the Democratic League of Kosovo (Albanian: Lidhja Demokratike e Kosovës).


The LPK would establish the core of what would become known as the Kosovo Liberation Army,[14] following later with the UÇPMB in Preševo Valley, the National Liberation Army (UÇK) in North Macedonia[d],[15] as well as the FBKSh[16] of Gafurr Adili. Many members including most of the leadership would actively join the war, including Adem Jashari, Sami Lushtaku, Fatmir Limaj, Fehmi Lladrovci, Ramush Haradinaj, Azem Syla, Adem Grabovci, Jakup Krasniqi, Ali Ahmeti, and Hashim Thaçi.[17]


On 14-05-1999, most of the LPK membership would support the creation of Democratic Progress of Kosovo (Partia për Progres Demokratik e Kosovës) as a political wing of the Kosovo Liberation Army after the war, renamed on 21-05-2000 as Democratic Party of Kosovo (Albanian: Partia Demokratike e Kosovës, PDK) led by Hashim Thaçi.[18] Many others would join other political entities that emerged into Kosovo's political arena, i.e. the Socialist Party of Kosovo (Albanian: Partia Socialiste e Kosovës), National Movement for the Liberation of Kosovo (Albanian: Lëvizja Kombëtare për Çlirimin e Kosovës, LKCK), Vetëvendosje, etc. The fraction that did not support these changes continued political activity under the same original name (Lëvizja Popullore e Kosovës).

At the last legislative elections, 2001, 2004, 2007 the party won 1 out of 120 seats.

On July 23, 2013, what remained from the LPK merged into Vetëvendosje.[19][20]

See alsoEdit


a.   ^ The political status of Kosovo is disputed. Having unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008, Kosovo is formally recognised as an independent state by 97 UN member states (with another 15 states recognising it at some point but then withdrawing their recognition), while Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory.
b.   ^ Formerly known as the Movement for an Albanian Socialist Republic in Yugoslavia (Albanian: Lëvizja për Republikën Socialiste Shqiptare në Jugosllavi - LRSSHJ)
c.   ^ Formed in 1970 as the Kosovo Revolutionary Group (Albanian: Grupi Revolucionar i Kosovës - GRK), final name and program were established after joining the LPK on 15 May 1982.
d.   ^ The name of Republic of Macedonia is part of an international dispute with Greece. Official name enlisted in UN is 'The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia'.


  1. ^ Pavlović, Momčilo (April 26, 2013), 1981 demonstrations in Kosovo,, retrieved 2013-08-13
  2. ^ Lorimer, Doug (June 14, 1999), NATO's Balkan War and the Kosova Liberation Struggle, DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST PERSPECTIVE - The Activist - Volume 9, archived from the original on February 29, 2016, retrieved August 4, 2013
  3. ^ WALSH, LYNN (June 1999), The KLA and the struggle for Kosovar self-determination, Socialism Today
  4. ^ International Crisis Group (ICG) (2 September 1998), Kosovo's Long Hot Summer: Briefing on Military, Humanitarian and Political Developments in Kosovo, UNHCR refworld
  5. ^ Schwarz, Peter (1 September 1999), Kosovo and the crisis in the Atlantic Alliance, World Socialist Web Site
  6. ^ Robert Elsie (2011). Historical Dictionary of Kosovo. Historical Dictionaries of Europe 79. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-7231-8. Page 138
  7. ^ Prapashtica, Abdullah (28 July 2013), Reagim: Enver Hoxha nuk e ka themeluar LPK! (Response: PMK was not founded by Enver Hoxha!) (in Albanian),
  8. ^ Xhemajli, Emrush (February 2002), LËVIZJA POPULLORE E KOSOVËS, 1982 – 2002, 20 VJET VEPRIMTARI (PMK, 1982-2002, 20 years of activity)) (in Albanian), Kosovo Socialist Party
  9. ^ Research Directorate, Immigration & Refugee Board, Canada (1 April 1992), Switzerland: 1) Information on social clubs in Zurich operated for ethnic Albanians from Yugoslavia and Albania and their association with political or dissident groups; 2) Information on Grvala/Gervala/Gervalla, UNHCR refworld, retrieved 11 August 2013
  10. ^ Kosovapress (17 January 2013), 31 vjet të mjegulluara (31 blurry years) (in Albanian),
  11. ^ Christopher S. Stewart, Hunting the Tiger: The Fast Life and Violent Death of the Balkans' Most Dangerous Man. Thomas Dunne Books, 2008. ISBN 978-0312356064. Page 88
  12. ^ Tim Judah Kosovo: War and Revenge. 2002. ISBN 978-0300097252. Page 110
  13. ^ Demir Reshiti (November 2, 2005), "Heroizmi i Afrimit dhe Fahriut, fillimi i një epoke të re" [Heroism of Afrim and Fahri, start of a new age], Zëri i Kosovës (in Albanian), People's Movement of Kosovo, retrieved 2013-09-22
  14. ^ Liebknecht, Rosa (10 April 1992), Inside the KLA, International Viewpoint
  15. ^ Ahmeti, Ali (10 April 1992), Mbi nje periudhë të rendesishme të LPRK-së - LPK-së (Regarding an important period of PMRK - PMK ) (in Albanian), Zëri i Kosovës
  16. ^ Adili, Gafurr (5 February 2013), Unioni Shqipëri-Kosovë, hapi i parë drejt ribashkimit kombëtar! (Union Albania-Kosovo, the first step towards national reunification!) (in Albanian),, archived from the original on 8 August 2013
  17. ^ Ian Jeffries, "The Former Yugoslavia at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century: A Guide to the Economies in Transition (Routledge Studies of Societies in Transition)", 2002, ROUTLEDGE CHAPMAN & HALL, ISBN 978-0415281904, p. 254
  18. ^ International Crisis Group (ICG) (3 March 2000), What happened to the KLA?, UNHCR refworld, retrieved 11 August 2013
  19. ^ (2013-07-23), VV bashkohet me Lëvizjen Popullore të Kosovës (Self-Determination unites with PMK) (in Albanian),, archived from the original on 2013-07-25, retrieved 2013-07-24
  20. ^ Vetëvendosje! (23 July 2013), Bashkim në Lëvizje! (Merge in the movement) (in Albanian), Vetëvendosje!

Further readingEdit