Historical Archive

A brief history of the Institution of the President of the Republic

Ever since the foundation of the Albanian state on November 28th, 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 6th, 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 8th, 1920 the Lushnja 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 25th, 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 28th, 1928. After Albania was occupied by Italy in April of 1939 and the unification of the two countries, Victor Emmanuelle III became the King of Albania. During 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 of 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 11th, 1946 until December 12th, 1990 – a period when Albania experienced the communist dictatorship, – the functions of the Head of State were carried out by Omer Nishani (January 10th, 1946 – August 1st, 1953), by Haxhi Lleshi (August 1st, 1953 – November 22nd, 1982) and by Ramiz Alia (November 22nd, 1982 – February 22nd, 1991). The Presidential Council, headed by Ramiz Alia was founded on February 22nd, 1991 and it lasted until April 30th, 1991.

The election of the first President of the parliamentary Republic on April 30th, 1991 by a multi political parties Assembly, marked the foundation of the constitutional Institution of the President of Republic.

Bujar Nishani

Visit the web pages of the previous Presidents