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Alfred Moisiu

Afred Spiro Moisiu
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Term of Office:July 24, 2002 - Present
Predecessor:Rexhep Meidani
Date of Birth:December 1, 1929
Place of Birth:Shkodėr, Albania
Political Party:

Alfred Spiro Moisiu has been President of Albania since July 24, 2002.

He was born in Shkodėr, Albania on December 1, 1929. His father was Spiro Moisiu.

During 1943-1945 he took part in the War for Albania's Liberation against German occupation. In 1946 he was sent into Soviet Union as astudent. In 1948 he graduated from the military engineering school in Saint Petersburg (then Leningrad). He served in Tirana as a platoon-commander at the United Officers' School (1948–1949) and as a teacher at the Military Academy (1949–1951). From 1952 to 1958 he attended the Academy of Military Engineering in Moscow. He graduated from it with a Golden Medal (a distinction for excellent study).

Back in Albania, Moisiu continued his military career in the engineers' department of the Ministry of Defense. From 1967 to 1968 he attended to the higher courses of general staff at the Defense Academy of Tirana. At the same time he commanded a pontoon brigade in Kavajė (1966–1971). In 1971 he became the chief of the Bureau of Engineering anf Fortifications of the Ministry of Defense (under Enver Hoxha in Albania thousands of concrete casemates were built in defense for states held to be hostile).

In 1979, Moisiu acquired a PhD in military science. From 1981, he was the Deputy Minister of Defense. Under the ministers Beqir Balluku, Mehmet Shehu and Kadri Hasbiu he held this post until October 1982 (Premier Minister Shehu died in December 1982). Presumably on connection with Shehu's conflict with Enver Hoxha, Moisiu was sent to Burrel, where he served as the commander of an engineer company from 1982 to 1984. Moisiu left active service as a general.

He came back into public life in December 1991 when he was appointed the Minister of Defense in Vilson Ahmeti's government consisting of experts, preceding the first democratically elected parliament in post-Communist Albania. He held that post until April 1992 when the first Government of the Democratic Party, led by Aleksander Meksi, was formed.

The new executive invited Moisiu to work as a counselor to the Minister of Defense. In 1994, Safet Zhulali appointed him the deputy minister charged with elaborating the defence politics of Albania. Moisiu's advice was to concentrate the efforts to the reconstruction of the armed forces that were in bad condition, and to start preparations for joining NATO. In 1994 he founded the Albanian North Atlantic Association and was elected as its president. On January 24, 1995 he signed an individual association treaty binding Albania with NATO's Partnership for Peace project. From 1995, Moisiu attended to the VIPs' courses of the NATO College in Rome.

When the Albanian Socialist Party came to power in 1997, Moisiu lost his post in the Ministry. In the following years, he tool an active part in extra-governmental activity, organizing international and all-Albanian conferences where issues of security and defense in South East Europe, armament control and collecting arms from civil persons were discussed.

In 2002, under pressure from international organization, Moisiu became the consensual candidate of all main political parties for the presidency of the Republic of Albania after the end of the mandate of Rexhep Meidani. Moisiu was found fitting that post since he was a researcher, was politically neutral, was known as an effective reconciliatior (a very appreciated quality in Albania which tends to inner quarrels) and had a decisive Western and NATO orientation.

Albanian media emphasized the extraordinary cooperative spirit between the Socialist and the Democratic Parties: Moisiu was a candidate approved by both Sali Berisha and Fatos Nano. Neither Nano nor the former president Meidani ran for the presidency, as they had no chances to gather the necessary 2/3 of the votes. Meidani was found to be too close to Socialists, and therefore conservative candidates would not support him.

Moisiu was elected by the People's Assembly by a vote of 97 for, 19 against, 14 abstained, and he was sworn in for a five-year term as president on July 24, 2002.

After the constitutional reform of November 1998, politics is mainly the task of the government. Moisiu promised to contribute to the strengthening of the parliamentary democracy, the stabilization of the judiciary system and the integration of Albania to the Euro-Atlantic structures. 

The day after the beginning of Moisiu's presidency, the Socialist Prime Minister Pandeli Majko resigned, and the president appointed Fatos Nano, the leader of the Socialist Party, the new Prime Minister. That change was a sign of dissentions within the party, and compensated Nano for giving up his ambitions of presidency.

Later on, Moisiu has strongly criticized Nano for excessive concentration of the power and the slowness of reforms.

He knows Russian, Italian, and English. He has written many articles and research papers on military science, and defense and security issues.

See also

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