President of Albania

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President of the
Republic of Albania
Presidenti i Republikës së Shqipërisë
Seal of the President of Albania.svg
Presidential Seal
Flag of the President of Albania.svg
Presidential standard
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
Inaugural holder Ahmet Zogu (Albanian Republic)
Ramiz Alia (Republic of Albania)
Formation30 April 1991
Salary1,425 EUR per month [1]
Website www.president.al

The president of Albania (Albanian : Presidenti i Shqipërisë), officially styled 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. [2] [3]

Contents

The president has the power to set the date of the elections for the Parliament as well as referendum, grants pardons and 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. [4] 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 elected for 5 years. [5] However, the Constitution of Albania sets a limit to a maximum of two terms in office. [6] 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 took office on July 24, 2017.

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. [7]

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. [8]

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. [9] 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. [10] [11] One year later, the second presidential elections were held on 22 March 1992. [12] 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. [13] [14]

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. [15]

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. [16] [17]

The president of Albania, officially styled 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. [18]

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: [19]

Albanian: Betohem se do t’i bindem Kushtetutës dhe ligjeve të vendit, do të respektoj të drejtat dhe liritë e shtetasve, do të mbroj pavarësinë e Republikës së Shqipërisë dhe do t’i shërbej interesit të përgjithshëm dhe përparimit të Popullit Shqiptar. Zoti më ndihmoftë!

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!

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. [20] 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. [21]

List of presidents (1925–present)

No.PortraitNameTerm in officeNominated by
Flag of Albania (1926-1928).svg Albanian Republic (1925–1928)
1 King Zog.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
(1924–2011)
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 1964)
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
3 years, 3 months and 3 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 First Lady of Albania is an 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 oversees the administration of Presidential Palace, the mansion that serves as the official residence, while the Presidenca serves as the official office. They also organize events and civic programs, and typically get involved in different charities and social causes.

BirthnameRelation to the president
Geraldine Apponyi*future wife of President Ahmet Zogu
Semiramis Xhuvani*wife of future President Ramiz Alia
Lirie Ramaj wife of President Sali Berisha
Lidra Karagjoziwife of President Rexhep Meidani
Milica Niça*wife of future President Alfred Moisiu
Teuta Mema wife of President Bamir Topi
Odeta Kosova wife of President Bujar Nishani
Monika Kryemadhi*wife of President Ilir Meta

*Geraldine Apponyi married Ahmet Zogu a decade later.

*Semiramis Xhuvani, the daughter of prominent scholar Aleksandër Xhuvani died before her husband took office of the presidency.

*Milica Niça was deceased when Alfred Moisiu became President of the Republic, his youngest daughter Mirela Moisiu carried the First Lady duties.

*Monika Kryemadhi, as a Member of Parliament and the leader of the second largest opposition party LSI, refused to take on the duties of the First Lady therefore the couple's eldest child and daughter Bora Meta is carrying on as First Lady.

See also

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References

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  4. "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.
  5. "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.
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  9. Albania: Elections held in 1991 Inter-Parliamentary Union
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  15. "Ilir Meta, president i ri i Shqipërisë". telegrafi.com. Retrieved 28 April 2017. Ilir Metës si president i Republikës
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  17. "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.
  18. "Struktura e Shtabit të Përgjithshëm". aaf.mil.al (in Albanian).
  19. "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
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