|Biographical detail : ||Former Kosovan Communist leader.
Bakalli led the disputed province’s Communists in the late 1970s and early 1980s, stepping down, in 1981, after disagreements with the central body of the Yugoslav Communist Party over the handling of unrest by ethnic Albanian students who demanded better living conditions and for an enhanced status for Kosovo within the Yugoslav federation.
Though ousted from office, Bakalli, who started his career as a lecturer in sociology at a Pristina college before entering into politics, remained engaged in his country’s affairs and at times played an influential role behind the scenes.
He was part of the Kosovo Albanian delegation to the failed Rambouillet peace talks in France in 1999. He stressed that international mediation was needed before the negotiation process even started and it was he who talked of how important it was for NATO to come to Kosovo, long before the bombings began.
Bakalli was the first of some 300 prosecution-witnesses to testify against Slobodan Milosevic, former Yugoslav President, at his war crime trial at the UN tribunal in The Hague, a trial that ended with the latter’s death.
Mehmut Bakalli was an adviser to Kosovo’s prime minister, Agim Ceku, before he died of throat cancer.