President of Albania
|President of Albania
Presidenti i Shqipërisë
Standard of the President
(reference and spoken)
His or Her Excellency
(in international relations only)
|Term length||Five years|
|Formation||30 April 1991|
|First holder||Ramiz Alia|
The President of Albania, officially the President of the Republic of Albania (Albanian: Presidenti i Republikës së Shqipërisë), is the head of state and represents the unity of the people of Albania.
The President is elected by secret vote and without debate by the Parliament (Kuvendi) by a majority of three-fifths of all its members and is in every case elected for 5 years, with the right of re-election only once.
Ever since the foundation of the Albanian state on November 28, 1912, 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 Republic and head of state has been exercised in various forms.
The very first government headed by Ismail Qemali who also enjoyed the competences of the head of State was created in 1912. On February 6, 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 January 8, 1920 the Lushnjë Congress 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 National Assembly approved and passed the republican form of regime on January 25, 1925 and elected Ahmet Zogu as the President of Republic. Albania was proclaimed a Monarchy and Ahmet Zogu was crowned the King of Albanians on September 28, 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 1943-1944 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 National Assembly. From January 11, 1946 until December 12, 1990 – a period when Albania experienced a communist dictatorship, – the functions of the Head of State were carried out by Omer Nishani (January 10, 1946 – August 1, 1953), by Haxhi Lleshi (August 1, 1953 – November 22, 1982) and by Ramiz Alia (November 22, 1982 – February 22, 1991). The Presidential Council, headed by Ramiz Alia was founded on February 22, 1991 and it lasted until April 30, 1991.
The election of the first President of the parliamentary Republic on April 30, 1991 by a multi political parties Assembly, marked the foundation of the constitutional Institution of the President of Republic.
Article 89 of the Albanian Constitution sets the following qualifications for holding the presidency:
- be a natural-born citizen of the Albanian Republic
- be at least forty years old and
- be a resident in the Albanian Republic for at least ten years.
As of article 91, the President of the Albanian Republic is the head of state and represents the unity of the Albanian people. He or she 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 swears as follows: "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, and I will serve the general interest and the progress of the Albanian People."
Article 95 of the Constitution, states that the President: addresses messages to the Assembly, 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 Assembly, 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.
List of Presidents
- Political Party
|Portrait||Term of office||Party|
|'30 April 1991'||3 April 1992||Party of Labour|
|9 April 1992||24 July 1997||Democratic Party|
|24 July 1997||24 July 2002||Socialist Party|
|24 July 2002||24 July 2007||Independent|
|24 July 2007||24 July 2012||Democratic Party|
|24 July 2012||24 July 2017||Democratic Party|
|24 July 2017||-||Socialist Movement for Integration|
(Dates in italics indicate 'de facto' continuation of office)
Living former Presidents
There are four living former Albanian Presidents and one outgoing president:
|Name||Term||Date of birth|
|Sali Berisha||1992-1997||October 15, 1944|
|Rexhep Meidani||1997–2002||August 17, 1944|
|Alfred Moisiu||2002–2007||December 1, 1929|
|Bamir Topi||2007–2012||April 24, 1957|
|Bujar Nishani||2012–2017||September 29, 1966|
An indirect presidential election was held 19, 20 and 27 and 28 April 2017. In the first through third round, no candidates were proposed and no vote took place in the Parliament. In the fourth round the incumbent Speaker of the Parliament and former Prime Minister Ilir Meta was elected as President of Albania with 87 votes. The opposition didn't take part in the election because of the general boycott of the parliament announced during the 2017 Albanian opposition protest.