President of Albania

Last updated
President of the
Republic of Albania
Presidenti i Republikës së Shqipërisë
Seal of the President of Albania.svg
Ilir Meta (portrait).jpg
Incumbent
Ilir Meta

since 24 July 2017
Style President
His Excellency
Residence Pallati Presidencial
Seat Tirana
Appointer Parliament
Term length Five years
Renewable once
Formation30 April 1991
First holder Ramiz Alia
Website www.president.al

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. [1] [2]

Albanian language Indo-European language

Albanian is an Indo-European language spoken by the Albanians in the Balkans and the Albanian diaspora in the Americas, Europe and Oceania. It comprises an independent branch within the Indo-European languages and is not closely related to any other language in Europe.

A style of office, honorific or manner/form of address, is an official or legally recognized form of address, and may often be used in conjunction with a title. A style, by tradition or law, precedes a reference to a person who holds a post or political office, and is sometimes used to refer to the office itself. An honorific can also be awarded to an individual in a personal capacity. Such styles are particularly associated with monarchies, where they may be used by a wife of an office holder or of a prince of the blood, for the duration of their marriage. They are also almost universally used for presidents in republics and in many countries for members of legislative bodies, higher-ranking judges and senior constitutional office holders. Leading religious figures also have styles.

A head of state is the public persona who officially represents the national unity and legitimacy of a sovereign state. Depending on the country's form of government and separation of powers, the head of state may be a ceremonial figurehead or concurrently the head of government. In a parliamentary system the head of state is the de jure leader of the nation, and there is a separate de facto leader, often with the title of prime minister. In contrast, a semi-presidential system has both heads of state and government as the leaders de facto of the nation.

Contents

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. [3]

Parliament of Albania Parliament of Albania

The Parliament of Albania or Kuvendi is the unicameral representative body of the citizens of the Republic of Albania; it is Albania's legislature. The Parliament is composed of not less than 140 members elected to a four-year term on the basis of direct, universal, periodic and equal suffrage by secret ballot. The Parliament is presided over by a Speaker of the Parliament, who is assisted by at least one deputy speaker. The electoral system is based on party-list proportional representation. There are 12 multi-seat constituencies, corresponding to the country's administrative divisions.

A referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is invited to vote on a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of a new law. In some countries, it is synonymous with a plebiscite or a vote on a ballot question.

A pardon is a government decision to allow a person to be absolved of guilt for an alleged crime or other legal offense, as if the act never occurred. The pardon may be granted before or after conviction for the crime, depending on the laws of the jurisdiction.

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.

Presidential Office Building, Tirana government residence in Tirana, Albania

The Presidential Office 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.

Tirana Capital of Albania

Tirana is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Albania.

It is the fundamental law of the Republic of Albania. The present Constitution of Albania was adopted by the Parliament on 28 November 1998. It is split up over many different acts. The document succeeded the 1976 Constitution, originally adopted at the creation of the People's Socialist Republic of Albania on 28 December 1976 and heavily amended on 29 April 1991.

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. [4] However, the Constitution of Albania sets a limit to a maximum of two terms in office. [5] 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.

Oath of office an official promise by a person who has been elected to a public office to fulfill the duties of the office according to the law

An oath of office is an oath or affirmation a person takes before undertaking the duties of an office, usually a position in government or within a religious body, although such oaths are sometimes required of officers of other organizations. Such oaths are often required by the laws of the state, religious body, or other organization before the person may actually exercise the powers of the office or any religious body. It may be administered at an inauguration, coronation, enthronement, or other ceremony connected with the taking up of office itself, or it may be administered privately. In some cases it may be administered privately and then repeated during a public ceremony.

Ilir Meta Albanian diplomat and politician

Ilir Meta 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.

Socialist Movement for Integration political party

The Socialist Movement for Integration is a social-democratic political party in Albania. The LSI was formed on 6 September 2004 when Ilir Meta, former Prime Minister of Albania, broke from the Socialist Party of Albania (PS). Through the use of the term "movement", LSI attempts to give the message that it is open and inclusive. The other reason for using this term is its intention to differentiate itself from the other parties. LSI employed the one member, one vote system in March 2005 to elect its leader, Ilir Meta.

History

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. [6]

Provisional Government of Albania first Government of Albania  (4 December 1912- 22 January 1914)

The Provisional Government of Albania was the first government of Albania, created by the Assembly of Vlorë on 4 December 1912. It was a paternal government, led by Ismail Qemali, until his resignation on 22 January 1914 followed by Fejzi Alizoti until the proclamation of the Principality of Albania.

Ismail Qemali Prime Minister of Albania

Ismail Qemali was an Albanian politician and publicist who served as the 1st President and Prime Minister as well as Foreign Minister of Albania from 1912 to 1914. He is considered to be the Founding Father of Modern Albania and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence.

William, Prince of Albania Prince of Albania

Prince William of Wied, reigned briefly as sovereign of the Principality of Albania as Vidi I from 7 March to 3 September 1914, when he left for exile. His reign officially came to an end on 31 January 1925, when the country was declared an Albanian Republic.

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. [7]

Elections

Sali Berisha, founder of the Democratic Party of Albania. EPP Congress Marseille 6007 (6472666909).jpg
Sali Berisha, founder of the Democratic Party 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. [8] 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. [9] [10] One year later, the second presidential elections were held on 22 March 1992. [11] 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. [12] [13]

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. [14]

Powers, duties and responsibilities

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. [15] [16]

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. [17]

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.

Oath

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 [18] :

Office and residence

The Presidential Office in Tirana. Albanian president.jpg
The Presidential Office in Tirana.

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. [19] 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. [20]

List of presidents (1925–present)

No.PortraitNameTerm in officeNominated by
Flag of Albania (1926-1928).svg Albanian Republic (1925–1928)
1 Ahmet-Zogu-1895---1961.jpg Ahmet Zogu
(1895–1961)
Zogu (nenshkrim).svg
1 February 19251 September 1928 Conservative Party
3 years and 7 months
Flag of Albania.svg Republic of Albania (1991–present)
2 Ramiz Alia
(1925–2011)
Ramiz Alia (nenshkrim).svg
30 April 19913 April 1992 Party of Labour
11 months and 4 days
3 Sali Berisha (cropped).jpg Sali Berisha
(born 1944)
Sali Berisha (nenshkrim).svg
9 April 199224 July 1997 Democratic Party
5 years, 3 months and 15 days
4 Rexhep Meidani.jpg Rexhep Meidani
(born 1944)
Rexhep Meidani (nenshkrim).svg
24 July 199724 July 2002 Socialist Party
5 years
5 Alfred Moisiu June06.jpg Alfred Moisiu
(born 1929)
Alfred Moisiu (nenshkrim).svg
24 July 200224 July 2007 Consensual
5 years
6 Bamir Topi 2.jpg Bamir Topi
(born 1957)
Bamir Topi (nenshkrim).svg
24 July 200724 July 2012 Democratic Party
5 years
7 Bujar Nishani at meeting with Michael Spindelegger.jpg Bujar Nishani
(born 1966)
Bujar Nishani (nenshkrim).svg
24 July 201224 July 2017 Democratic Party
5 years
8 Ilir meta.jpg Ilir Meta
(born 1969)
Ilir Meta (nenshkrim).svg
24 July 2017Incumbent Socialist Movement for Integration
1 year, 7 months and 21 days

First Lady of Albania

During the Middle Ages, Albanians used several titles for the spouses of Albanian Monarchs. Donika Kastrioti was known as the spouse of Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg. Arolsen Klebeband 01 453 3.jpg
During the Middle Ages, Albanians used several titles for the spouses of Albanian Monarchs. Donika Kastrioti was known as the spouse of Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg.

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.

NameRelation 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 Meidaniwife 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.

See also

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References

  1. "KUSHTETUTA E REPUBLIKËS SË SHQIPËRISË" (pdf). wipo.int (in Albanian). p. Article 86.1.
  2. Albania in Pictures (Tom Streissguth ed.). Twenty-First Century Books, 2010. p. 37. ISBN   9780761363781.
  3. "1998 CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF ALBANIA". osce.org. p. 18. 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.
  4. "1998 CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF ALBANIA". osce.org. 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.
  5. "KUSHTETUTA E REPUBLIKËS SË SHQIPËRISË" (pdf). wipo.int (in Albanian). p. Article 88.1.
  6. "Kreu i shtetit, në historinë e Shqipërisë 100-vjeçare". gazeta-shqip.com (in Albanian). Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  7. "ALBANIA Parliamentary Chamber: Kuvendi Popullor". ipu.org. The 1991 general elections were the first free and multiparty ones in Albania since World War II.
  8. Albania: Elections held in 1991 Inter-Parliamentary Union
  9. Heads of States and Governments Since 1945 (Harris M. Lentz ed.). 4 February 2014. ISBN   1-884964-44-3.
  10. "Following the death of Enver Hoxha, Albania's long-time (1945-1985) dictator in April 1985, Ramiz Alia (born 1925) became the dominant political personality in the country". biography.yourdictionary.com.
  11. Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p133 ISBN   978-3-8329-5609-7
  12. "Dr. Alfred Moisiu". president.al (in Albanian).
  13. "Debatet për Presidentin që nga Moisiu konsensual deri te Nishani". shqiptarja.com (in Albanian). Retrieved 2 August 2015.
  14. "Ilir Meta, president i ri i Shqipërisë". telegrafi.com. Retrieved 28 April 2017. Ilir Metës si president i Republikës
  15. "KUSHTETUTA E REPUBLIKËS SË SHQIPËRISË" (pdf). wipo.int (in Albanian). p. Article 86.2.
  16. "1998 CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF ALBANIA". osce.org. p. 17. 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.
  17. "Struktura e Shtabit të Përgjithshëm". aaf.mil.al (in Albanian).
  18. "KUSHTETUTA E REPUBLIKËS SË SHQIPËRISË" (PDF). wipo.int (in Albanian). 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
  19. "SELIA E PRESIDENCËS". tirana.al (in Albanian).
  20. "Albanian Presidential Palace returns to the public". Independent Balkan News Agency. 17 April 2015. Retrieved 4 February 2016.