The President of Albania (Albanian: Presidenti i Shqipërisë), officially styled the President of the Republic of Albania (Albanian: Presidenti i Republikës së Shqipërisë), is the head of state, commander-in-chief of the military and the representative of the unity of the Albanian people.
The President has the power to set the date of the elections for the Parliament as well as referendum, grants pardons and awards and other state awards. In case of incapability to discharge duties of office, the Chairperson of the Parliament assumes the office of acting President until the President resumes duty, or until election of a new president.
The Office of the President of Albania consists of the immediate staff of the president of the country, as well as support staff reporting to the president. The office is seated in the Presidential Office in the capital city Tirana. The Constitution of Albania defines the appearance and use of the presidential standard, flown on buildings of the Office of the President, the residence of the president, the transportation vehicles when in use by the president, and in other ceremonial occasions. The Spouse of the President is recognized as the First Lady of Albania, but holds no official role in the presidency. She often plays a protocol role at the Presidential Palace and during official visits.
The President is elected through a secret vote and without debate by the Parliament of Albania by a majority of three-fifths of all its members and is in every case elected for 5 years. However, the Constitution of Albania sets a limit to a maximum of two terms in office. The president-elect is required to take an oath of office before the members of the Parliament of Albania. The 7th and current officeholder is Ilir Meta of the Socialist Movement for Integration who was elected on 28 April 2017 and took office on July 24, 2017.
|President of the|
Republic of Albania
Presidenti i Republikës së Shqipërisë
since 24 July 2017
|Term length||Five years|
|Formation||30 April 1991|
|First holder||Ramiz Alia|
Albania has experienced different models of governance, including an international protectorate, a monarchy, a state-party regime and the parliamentary republic as well. Throughout all this period the function of the President of Albania and head of state has been exercised in various forms.
The first government after the independence was headed by Ismail Qemali, who also enjoyed the competences of the head of state. On 6 February 1914, Prince Wilhelm Wied was appointed as head of state by the Ambassadors Conference. From September 1914 until January 1920, Albania was transformed into a battle field and experienced the change of a number of governments, where the post of the head of state was played by different governments regencies. On 8 January 1920 the Congress of Lushnjë elected the 'High Council' composed by four members, one of whom would exercise the functions of the head of state by introducing and bringing back the parliamentarian way of governance. In 1924, Fan Noli was elected as head of government while exercising at the same time the functions of the head of State. After the frequent changes in governance, the Parliament of Albania approved and passed the republican form of regime on 25 January 1925 and elected Zog I of Albania as the President of Albania. The nation was proclaimed a monarchy and Ahmet Zogu was crowned the King of Albanians on 28 September 1928. After Albania was occupied by Italy in April 1939 and the unification of the two countries, Victor Emmanuel III became the King of Albania. From 1943 to 1944 the regencies governance was introduced once again under the German occupation.
The end of the second World War and the liberation of Albania that took place in 1944 were followed by the holding of the first parliamentary elections in December 1945 and also by the transformation of the head of state’s function into a collegial body, the Presidium of the Parliament of Albania. During the communism from 11 January 1946 until 12 December 1990, the functions of the head of state were carried out by Omer Nishani from 10 January 1946 to 1 August 1953, by Haxhi Lleshi from 1 August 1953 to 22 November 1982 and by Ramiz Alia from 22 November 1982 to 22 February 1991. The 'Presidential Council', headed by Ramiz Alia was founded on 22 February 1991 and it lasted until 30 April 1991.
The election of the first President of the parliamentary Republic of Albania on 30 April 1991 by a multi political parties Assembly, marked the foundation of the constitutional institution of the President of Albania.
Following the disintegration of the communist regime, the first multi-party elections in Albania were held in 1991, simultaneously with the 1991 parliamentary elections. The result was a victory for Ramiz Alia of the Socialist Party of Albania (PS), who received 56.2% of the vote in the third round of the elections, ahead of 3 other candidates. Sali Berisha, the Democratic Party of Albania (PD) candidate and runner-up in the election, received almost 38.7% of the vote. After the collapse of a coalition government in December 1991 and the Democratic Party of Albania's (PD) landslide victory in the spring 1992 general election, Ramiz Alia resigned as the President on 3 April 1992. One year later, the second presidential elections were held on 22 March 1992. The result was a victory for Sali Berisha of the Democratic Party of Albania (PD), who received 57.3% of the vote in the second round of the elections, ahead of 5 other candidates. The fifth presidential elections were held on 24 June 2002. The result was a victory for Alfred Moisiu of the Democratic Party of Albania (PD), who was elected by the Parliament of Albania through a vote of 97 to 19.
The sixth presidential elections were held on 20 June 2007 with almost four rounds. In the first round on 20 June 2007 and 27 June 2007, no candidate was presented. The Government of Albania and the opposition presented their proposed candidate lists on 5 July 2007, but did not accept either list. Afterwards, on 14 July 2007 the third round were held. At least in the fourth round on 20 July, Bamir Topi won the election. The seventh presidential elections were held on 30 May 2012 with four rounds until 11 June 2012. The first through third rounds of voting were inconclusive. In the fourth round, the result was a victory for Bujar Nishani of the Democratic Party of Albania (PD). The most recent and eighth presidential elections were held on 19, 20, 27 and 28 April 2017. In the fourth round the incumbent Chairman of the Parliament of Albania, Ilir Meta was elected as seventh President of Albania with 87 votes.
As of Article 89 of the Albanian Constitution sets the following qualifications for holding the presidency, to be a natural-born citizen of the Albanian Republic, to be at least forty years old and to be a resident in the Republic of Albania for at least ten years.
The President of Albania, officially styled the President of the Republic of Albania represents the unity of the Albanian people in the country and abroad as the head of state. The President begins his duties officially after he takes the oath before the Parliament, but not before the mandate of the President who is leaving has been completed. The President of Albania is the supreme commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Albania and appoints and relieves military commanders of duty, conforming to applicable legislation. Furthermore, the Chief of the General Staff is appointed as well by the President.
The Constitution, states that the President addresses messages to the Parliament, exercises the right of pardon according to the law, grants Albanian citizenship and permits it to be given up according to the law, gives decorations and titles of honor according to the law, accords the highest military rank according to the law, on the proposal of the Prime Minister, he appoints and withdraws plenipotentiary representatives of the Republic of Albania to other states and international organizations, accepts letters of credentials and the withdrawal of diplomatic representatives of other states and international organization accredited to him, signs international agreements according to the law, upon proposal of the Prime Minister, he appoints the Director of the National Security Department, nominates rectors of universities upon proposal of their council's representatives, sets the date of the elections for the Parliament, for the organs of local power and for the conduct of a referendum and requests opinions and information in writing from the directors of state institutions for issues that have to do with their duties.
Before assuming presidential duty, the president-elect is required to take an oath of office before the Parliament, swearing loyalty to the Constitution. The text of the oath in its Albanian form is sensitive to gender and all nouns always retain a neutral form. The president-elect takes the following oath of office, specified by the Constitution:
English: I swear that I will obey to the Constitution and laws of the country, that I will respect the rights and freedoms of citizens, protect the independence of the Republic of Albania, and I will serve the general interest and the progress of the Albanian people. So help me God!
The Presidential Office (Albanian: Presidenca) is the official workplace of the president. It consists of the immediate staff of the president, as well as support staff reporting to the president. Since the collapse of communism, the building was used as the Office of the president, having been used for this purpose uninterrupted up to this day. The building consists three floors where two entrance gates lead an oval driveway from the Dëshmorët e Kombit Boulevard.
The Presidential Palace (Albanian: Pallati presidencial), popularly known as the Palace of Brigades (Albanian: Pallati i Brigadave), is the official residence of the President of Albania. The Palace was commissioned by King Zog I of Albania to serve as his main official residence. After the second World War it has been used by the Government of Albania for holding official ceremonies and state receptions. Due to its location near the Grand Park of Tirana, its gardens are quite extensive. It is surrounded by trees for nearly 200 metres and decorated in patterns and shapes of various designs. In addition the Palace was designed by Italian well-known architect Gherardo Bosio.
|No.||Portrait||Name||Term in office||Nominated by|
|Albanian Republic (1925–1928)|
|1 February 1925||1 September 1928||Conservative Party|
|3 years and 7 months|
|Republic of Albania (1991–present)|
|30 April 1991||3 April 1992||Party of Labour|
|11 months and 4 days|
|9 April 1992||24 July 1997||Democratic Party|
|5 years, 3 months and 15 days|
|24 July 1997||24 July 2002||Socialist Party|
|24 July 2002||24 July 2007||Consensual|
|24 July 2007||24 July 2012||Democratic Party|
|24 July 2012||24 July 2017||Democratic Party|
|24 July 2017||Incumbent||Socialist Movement for Integration|
|1 year, 9 months and 2 days|
The title of the First Lady of Albania is a unofficial title, it is not an elected one, carries no official duties, and receives no salary. Nonetheless, first ladies have held a highly visible position in Albanian society. The role has evolved over the years, but she is, first and foremost, the spouse of the President. However, she accompanies the President in state and official visits abroad the borders of Albania. She generally oversee the administration of Presidential Palace, the mansion that serves as the official residence, while the Presidenca serving as the official office. They also organize events and civic programs, and typically get involved in different charities and social causes.
|Name||Relation to the President|
|Geraldine of Albania*||future wife of President Ahmet Zogu|
|Semiramis Alia*||wife of future President Ramiz Alia|
|Liri Berisha||wife of President Sali Berisha|
|Lidra Meidani||wife of President Rexhep Meidani|
|Milica Moisiu*||wife of future President Alfred Moisiu|
|Teuta Topi||wife of President Bamir Topi|
|Odeta Nishani||wife of President Bujar Nishani|
|Monika Kryemadhi*||wife of President Ilir Meta|
*Queen Geraldine married Ahmet Zogu a decade later. * Because Semiramis Alia predeceased her husband, Ramiz Alia while he was still the communist-era President.
* Because Milica Moisiu was deceased when Alfred Moisiu became President of the Republic, his youngest daughter Mirela Moisiu carried the First Lady duties.
* Because Monika Kryemadhi is a Member of Parliament and the leader of the second largest opposition party LSI, she refused to take on the duties of the First Lady therefor, the couple's eldest child and daughter Bora Meta is carrying on as First Lady.
When the President of the Republic is temporarily unable to exercise his functions or his place is vacant, the Speaker of the Assembly takes his place and exercises his powers.
The President of the Republic is elected by the Assembly by secret ballot and without debate by a majority of three-fifths of all its members.
The 1991 general elections were the first free and multiparty ones in Albania since World War II.
Ilir Metës si president i Republikës
Only an Albanian citizen by birth who has resided in Albania for not less than the past 10 years and who has reached the age of 40 may be elected President.
Betohem se do t'i bindem Kushtetutes dhe ligjeve te vendit, do te respektoj te drejtat dhe lirite e shtetasve, do te mbroj pavaresine e Republikes se Shqiperise dhe do t'i sherbej interesit te pergjithshem dhe perparimit te Popullit Shqiptar". Presidenti mund te shtoje edhe: "zoti me ndihmofte
Indirect presidential elections were held in Albania on 20 and 27 June, 8, 11, 14, and 20 July, the sixth such elections since the collapse of the communist regime in 1991.
The President of Albania is elected through a secret vote and without debate by the Parliament of Albania by a majority of three-fifths majority of all its members. The Constitution of Albania sets a limit to a maximum of two terms in office. When this majority is not reached in the first round of voting, a second round takes place within seven days. If such a majority is still not reached, a third round must take place within a further period of seven days. If even in the first three rounds no candidate has attained the necessary majority, a further two rounds must be held within seven days, with the majority needed to win being reduced to an absolute majority (50% + 1 vote) vote of the total members of the Parliament. If after five rounds of voting no candidate has attained the necessary majority outlined for each round of voting in the Parliament, the Parliament will be dissolved and a general election must occur within 60 days.2017 Albanian presidential election
Indirect presidential elections were held in Albania on 19, 20, 27 and 28 April 2017, the eighth such elections since the collapse of the communist regime in 1991. In the first through third round, no candidates were proposed and no vote took place in the Parliament of Albania. In the fourth round, the incumbent Chairperson and then-Prime Minister of Albania, Ilir Meta was elected as the eighth President of Albania with almost 87 votes.The Opposition of Albania did not take part in the election, due to the general boycott of the Parliament announced during the 2017 opposition protest.
The President of Albania is elected through a secret vote and without debate by the Parliament of Albania by a majority of three-fifths majority of all its members. The Constitution of Albania sets a limit to a maximum of two terms in office. When this majority is not reached in the first round of voting, a second round takes place within seven days. If such a majority is still not reached, a third round must take place within a further period of seven days. If even in the first three rounds no candidate has attained the necessary majority, a further two rounds must be held within seven days, with the majority needed to win being reduced to an absolute majority or 50% +1 vote of the total Members of the Parliament. If after five rounds of voting no candidate has attained the necessary majority outlined for each round of voting in the Parliament, the Parliament will be dissolved and a general election must occur within 60 days.Albanian Armed Forces
The Albanian Armed Forces (Albanian: Forcat e Armatosura të Republikës së Shqipërisë (FARSH)) are the military of Albania and were formed after the declaration of independence in 1912. Today, it consists of: the General Staff, the Albanian Land Force, Albanian Air Force and the Albanian Naval Force.
The President of Albania is the Commander-in-Chief of the nation's military. In times of peace, the President's powers as Commander-in-Chief are executed through the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister.Alfred Moisiu
Alfred Spiro Moisiu (Albanian: [alˈfrɛd spi'rɔ ˈmɔisiu] (listen); born 1 December 1929) is a former Albanian general, diplomat and politician. He served as President of Albania from 2002 to 2007.
He is the eldest son of famed Albanian Army general, Spiro Moisiu.Bamir Topi
Bamir Myrteza Topi (Albanian: [baˈmiɾ ˈtɔpi] (listen); born 24 April 1957) is an Albanian diplomat and politician. He served as President of Albania from 2007 to 2012.
Namely, Topi was also the honorary President of Albanian football club, KF Tirana from 2005 to 2007. In September 2012, Topi became the leader of the New Democratic Spirit party.Bujar Nishani
Bujar Nishani (Albanian pronunciation: [bujaɾ ni'ʃani]; born 29 September 1964) is an Albanian politician. He served as President of Albania from 24 July 2012 to 24 July 2017.
Before his election as President, Nishani held a number of governmental and diplomatic positions. Namely, he served as Minister of Justice from 2009 to 2011, and as the Minister of Internal Affairs from 2011 to 2012. The Parliament of Albania elected Nishani as President with a simple majority of 73 votes out of 140 members, without consensus from the opposition.Chief of the Albanian General Staff
The Chief of the General Staff (Albanian: Shef i Shtabit të Përgjithshëm) is the chief of the General Staff and Albanian Armed Forces. The chief of staff is appointed by the President of Albania, who is the commander-in-chief. The position dates back to the Provisional Government of Albania. The current Chief of the General Staff is Brigadier General
Bardhyl KollçakuCivil awards and decorations of Albania
Civil awards and decorations of Albania are awards and decorations that have been bestowed in Albania since its declaration of independence in 1912.Commander of the Naval Force (Albania)
The Albanian Commander of the Naval Force (Albanian: Komandant i Forcës Detare) is the leader of the country's navy. The Commander of the Naval Force is appointed by the President of Albania and serves under the Minister of Defence.The current commander, Major General Ylber Dogjani, was appointed on 13 October 2015. General Dogjani previously served as director of Albania's Military Intelligence Service, the SHIU.First Lady of Albania
The First Lady of Albania (Albanian: Zonja e Parë) is the unofficial title of the spouse of the sitting President of Albania.Ilir Meta
Ilir Meta (Albanian pronunciation: [iliɾ mɛta]; born 24 March 1969) is an Albanian diplomat and politician who has been serving as President of Albania since 24 July 2017. Previously he served as Prime Minister from 1999 to 2002, and at age 30 he is to date the youngest person to have been Prime Minister in Albanian history. Meta also served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2002 to 2003 and again from 2009 to 2010. He was Chairman of the Parliament of Albania from 2013 to 2017. Meta also held positions as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, Trade, and Energy. Prior to that, he held the Chairmanship of the Parliamentary Commission of European Integration. Meta founded the Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI) in 2004.
On 28 April 2017, he was elected as President of Albania, receiving 87 votes from the 140 Members of Parliament.Judiciary of Albania
The Judiciary of Albania interprets and applies the law of Albania. Albania's judicial system is a civil law system divided between courts with regular civil and criminal jurisdiction and administrative courts. Albanian law is codified and based on the French law. It is governed by the High Council of Justice (Këshilli i Lartë i Drejtësisë), and its management is aided by the office of the President of Albania, the Ministry of Justice, and the various courts chairpersons.
The judiciary is defined under the Constitution (Kushtetuta) and Law with a hierarchical structure, with the Constitutional Court (Gjykata Kushtetuese) and the Supreme Court (Gjykata e Lartë) at the apex. The District Courts (Gjykatat e Rrethit Gjyqësor) are the primary trial courts, and the Courts of Appeal (Gjykatat e Apelit) are the primary appellate courts.
The judiciary faces many problems and a widespread lack of confidence but is making progress in recent times. There have been serious violations of the accepted separation of powers doctrine, systematic attempts to undermine trials, problems with access to justice, problems with court infrastructure and financial support, and corruption. But the 2016 Judicial System Reform aims to reform the system and bring upon a fairer and more efficient administration, a strengthening of the rule of law, the vetting and cleansing of the system of corrupt judges, etc.Order of Skanderbeg (1990–)
The Order of Skanderbeg or the "George Kastrioti Skanderbeg" Order (Albanian: Urdhri "Gjergj Kastrioti Skënderbeu") is a high honorary state decoration that is currently given in Albania to Albanian and foreign citizens that have made an important contribution to the defence, reinforcement and development of the Republic of Albania.The name refers to Skanderbeg, who is the national hero of the Albanian people. The Order of Skanderbeg is granted by the President of Albania. It should not be confused with the royal Order of Skanderbeg, which is a dynastic order bestowed by the Albanian royal family.Presidential Office Building, Tirana
The Presidential Office (Albanian: Presidenca) houses the Office of the President of Albania and is the principal workplace of the President. It consists of the immediate staff of the president, as well as support staff reporting to the president. It is located in the capital city of Tirana.The Presidential Office Building was constructed at first to house the Embassy of the Soviet Union to the People's Republic of Albania, and served for that purpose until 1961, when the both countries ceased their diplomatic relations. The discovery of dynamite at the embassy in 1951, as part of an attempted bombing, led to a violent crackdown by the Government of Albania of the time.
Following the disintegration of the communist regime in Albania, the building was used for the purpose to house the Office of the President of Albania, having been used for this purpose uninterrupted up to this day.Presidential Palace, Tirana
The Presidential Palace (Albanian: Pallati presidencial), formerly the Royal Palace (Albanian: Pallati mbretëror) and popularly known as the Palace of Brigades (Albanian: Pallati i Brigadave), is the official residence of the president of Albania. The Palace was commissioned by King Zog I of Albania to serve as his main official residence.
In 1945, it ceased to serve as a royal residence because the monarchist regime was substituted by a Communist-ruled government. Since 1946, it has been used by the government of Albania for holding official ceremonies and state receptions. In 2013, the Palace became an official residence once again, when President Bujar Nishani and his family moved into a reconstructed villa inside the grounds of the Palace.Architecturally, the Palace belongs to a rationalism style. It is unique in its genre, not only in the country but in the wider sphere of fascist architecture, including in Italy itself. Its bas-reliefs were covered with drapes in the 1970s during the cultural revolution, but not destroyed. Nevertheless, the Palace as a whole is in dire need of restoration. A description of the then new (and unfinished) Royal Palace appeared in the issue of Life dated 22 May 1939.Prime Minister of Albania
The Prime Minister of Albania (Albanian: Kryeministri i Shqipërisë), officially styled the Prime Minister of the Republic of Albania (Albanian: Kryeministri i Republikës së Shqipërisë), is the head of government of the Republic of Albania and as well the most powerful and influential person in Albanian politics. The Prime Minister holds the executive power of the nation and represents the Council of Ministers and chairs its meetings.
The Prime Minister is appointed by the President of Albania after each general election and must have the confidence of the Parliament of Albania to stay in office. The Council is responsible for carrying out both foreign and domestic policies. It directs and controls the activities of the ministries and other state organs. The Prime Minister is elected on the basis of universal suffrage, through a secret ballot, for a four-year term. The Constitution of Albania sets no limit as to office terms of the prime minister.
The 33rd and current officeholder is Edi Rama of the Socialist Party who was elected on 23 June 2013 and started his first four-year-term on 15 September 2013.Rexhep Meidani
Rexhep Qemal Meidani (listen ; born on 17 August 1944) is an Albanian physics professor, diplomat and politician. Meidani was the 3rd President of Albania to be elected after the first multi-party elections in 1991.Sali Berisha
Sali Berisha , (Albanian pronunciation: [saˈli bɛˈɾiʃa]; born 15 October 1944) is an Albanian cardiologist and conservative politician who served as the second President of Albania from 1992 to 1997 and Prime Minister from 2005 to 2013. He was also the leader of the Democratic Party of Albania twice, from 1991 to 1992 and then again from 1997 to 2013. To date, Berisha is the longest-serving democratically elected leader and the only Prime Minister to serve two full terms since the end of Communism.
A former secretary of the committee of the Party of Labor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Tirana, he abandoned his career as a cardiologist and university professor to become the leader of the Democratic Party in the 1990s. From 1992, after the fall of communism, he served as the first non-Communist President of Albania until his government collapsed in 1997 in the wake of the collapse of notorious pyramid schemes. From 1997 to 2005, Albania was governed by the Socialist Party (PS) for two mandates, while he stayed in opposition.
In 2005, the Democratic Party won the general elections, and he became the Prime Minister after his coalition formed the new government. In 2009, he was re-elected Prime Minister, after the Democrats obtained a narrow win in the general elections but were forced into a coalition with the Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI) through not winning enough seats on its own for the first time since the start of multi-party democracy in 1991. In the 2013 election, his government was unseated in an won coalition led by the Socialist Party and the LSI. After the loss he resigned as the leader of the Democratic Party but he continues to be a Member of Parliament as of 2017.Skënder Gjinushi
Skënder Gjinushi (born 24 December 1949 in Vlorë, Albania) is an Albanian politician. He graduated from the University of Tirana with a degree in Mathematics. He is the current leader of the Social Democratic Party of Albania. He has been a member of the Albanian Parliament since 1992 and since then some of his positions have included being the minister of education and Chairman of the Parliament of Albania from July 24, 1997 to September 4, 2001. For a few hours, he was the acting President of Albania on July 24, 1997.