Bujar Faik Nishani (Albanian pronunciation: [bujaɾ ni'ʃani]; 29 September 1966 – 28 May 2022) was an Albanian politician. He served as the president of Albania from 24 July 2012 to 24 July 2017.

Bujar Nishani
Nishani in 2016
President of Albania
In office
24 July 2012 – 24 July 2017
Prime MinisterSali Berisha
Edi Rama
Preceded byBamir Topi
Succeeded byIlir Meta
Minister of the Interior
In office
21 April 2011 – 12 June 2012
Prime MinisterSali Berisha
Preceded byLulzim Basha
Succeeded byFlamur Noka
In office
20 March 2007 – 17 September 2009
Prime MinisterSali Berisha
Preceded byGjergj Lezhja (Acting)
Succeeded byLulzim Basha
Minister of Justice
In office
17 September 2009 – 25 April 2011
Prime MinisterSali Berisha
Preceded byEnkelejd Alibeaj
Succeeded byEduard Halimi
Personal details
Born(1966-09-29)29 September 1966
Durrës, Albania
Died28 May 2022(2022-05-28) (aged 55)
Charité University Hospital, Berlin, Germany
Political partyDemocratic Party
(before 2012; 2017–2022)
Independent (2012–2019)
(m. 1994)
Alma materSkanderbeg Military University
Naval Postgraduate School
University of Tirana

Nishani was the youngest person to have been chosen as president of Albania, taking office at the age of 45. Before his election as president, Nishani held a number of governmental and diplomatic positions. Namely, he served as Minister of Internal Affairs from 2007 to 2009, and again between 2011 and 2012, as well as Minister of Justice from 2009 to 2011.

Early life Edit

Nishani was born in Durrës, Albania, on 29 September 1966 to a couple of teachers with roots from Gjirokastër.[1][2][3] He was a distant relative of Omer Nishani, Chairman of the People's Socialist Republic of Albania's Presidium, but during communism Bujar changed his surname to Mehmeti.[1]

He graduated at the Skanderbeg Military University in 1988, and followed up in 1996 with master's studies on "defense resources management" in the United States at the Naval Postgraduate School.[2] In 2004, he graduated from the Law Faculty of University of Tirana, where he also studied jurisprudence.[4] He completed his master's degree in European studies in 2005.[2]

Political career Edit

After the fall of communism in Albania in 1991, Nishani joined the Democratic Party of Albania (DP).[5] With the appointment of Safet Zhulali as Minister of Defense in 1992, he was hired as the ministry's expert and director of foreign relations. Two years later, in 1994, he was promoted to the office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs dealing with relations with NATO. In 1996 he was called to work as one of Zhulali's assistants until the Democratic Party lost at the 1997 parliamentary election. It was then that Nishani began his political career.[6][7]

In 2001, he was elected as general secretary of the DP's branch in Tirana and in the 2003 local election obtained a seat in the Tirana Municipal Council. Nishana became a member of the DP's National Council two years later and subsequently became a member of the party's central presidency.[6]

Nishani won a seat for Tirana's 34th constituency in the 2005 parliamentary election, and was re-elected in 2009.[6]

He became Minister of Interior on 20 March 2007,[8] a post he held until 17 September 2009,[9] and again from 25 April 2011[10] until his elections to become the new Albanian President in June 2012.[6][2] On 10 September 2009, Prime Minister Sali Berish announced his new cabinet after being reappointed and counted on Nishani to be his Minister of Justice, an office between 17 September 2009 and 25 April 2011.[9][11][2][12]

President of Albania Edit

On 10 June 2012, the day before the fourth round of presidential election in the Parliament, the majority parties met to discuss new candidates for the country's president, as the previous three rounds of voting had been failures. The proposed list of candidates from this meeting included the name of Bujar Nishani, then Minister of the Interior, but it was agreed that the ruling party's candidate would be Artan Hoxha.[13] The following day, Hoxha, due to fierce criticism from the opposition, withdrew his candidacy.[14] After the vote was postponed to the afternoon, the government finally proposed Nishani.[15] In the parliamentary session, Nishani won with 73 votes, all from the ruling party lawmakers; opposition deputies from the Socialist Party, in an attempt to boycott it, did not take part in the voting despite being present.[16][17] He was sworn in on 24 July 2012, becoming the country's youngest president ever; in his inaugural speech, he announced that his priority was to reform the judicial system, as well as Albania's integration into the European Union.[18][16][19]

Nishani visiting the European Commission in September 2012

His first state visit abroad was in Kosovo in August 2012. After meeting with President Atifete Jahjaga, Nishani expressed Albania's support for Kosovo's independence, stating that it was irreversible and that dialogue was necessary to resolve any problems with Serbia.[20] The Kosovar issue was high on his diplomatic agenda. In 2013, he did not attend the summit of ministers of the South-East European Cooperation Process, which was held on 31 May in Macedonia, because, due to objections from Serbia, the president of Kosovo was not invited.[21] In 2016, he called on the United Nations to recognize Kosovo's independence.[22]

On 16 November 2012, Nishani received the body of the King Zog I, who had died in exile more than 50 years earlier.[23]

In July 2013, he called a referendum on 22 December for citizens to decide on trash imports to the country.[24] In August 2013 he ignored opposition from the head of the Albanian Armed Forces, Xhemal Gjunkshi, and transferred ownership of a large building in Tirana from the Army to the Democratic Party of Albania for the party's new headquarters.[25] After the September parliamentary election, he named Edi Rama as the new Prime Minister.[26]

Nishani demanded to the President of Greece Karolos Papoulias, in November 2013, that the Greek parliament abolish the war against Albania, declared in 1940, in an attempt to resolve above all the Cham issue. He added that Albania was ready to resolve the maritime border delimitation dispute with Greece in accordance with international law.[27]

In 2014, he criticized the lack of transparency in the process of approval of the package of laws on the armed forces and the Defense Intelligence and Security Agency,[28] and rejected the reform of the Albanian judicial system, as he considered that it should be carried out by judges and not politicians.[29]

Due to the protests in Macedonia in May 2015 in which several protesters died, he called to "investigate as soon as possible and shed light quickly and completely on this dark and unclear incident that has shaken not only Kumanovo, but also the international community".[30]

The parliament, on 17 December 2015, passed the law prohibiting those with a criminal record for certain serious crimes from holding public office. In an unusual gesture, Nishani presented a decree for the law to take effect the same moment of parliamentary approval.[31]

Nishani meets with John Kerry during his official visit in Tirana on 14 February 2016.
Nishani meets with the Polish Prime Minister, Beata Szydło in Tirana, on 9 December 2016.

In April 2016, he opposed the law presented by the government equating citizenship with arms, considering it "inadequate" and "not positive"[32] The election of nine new Supreme Court judges on 26 June 2016 caused much controversy at the top of the judiciary, as five of them accused Nishani and president of the Supreme Court of acting without complying with the legally prescribed form.[33]

During his final address to the United Nations, at the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly in September 2016, he stated that Albania would address global challenges in close cooperation with others, and that Albania's actions would include increasing humanitarian aid, ratifying the Paris Agreement on climate change and implementing all commitments in the security realm.[34]

During most state visits abroad, Nishani's policy was maximally oriented towards strengthening good-neighborly relations, citing its support for Kosovo's participation in all multilateral regional and international activities.[35]

Nishani's term ended on 24 July 2017 and was succeeded by Ilir Meta, who took office after winning the 2017 Albanian presidential election.[36]

Personal life and death Edit

Nishani was married to Odeta Nishani with whom he had two children, a son Ersi and a daughter Fiona.[2] He was fluent in English.[2] He was a Muslim and on 21 April 2017, he became the first Albanian president to make a pilgrimage to Mecca.[37]

In 2008, he underwent surgery for a cerebral cavernoma; and retook his duties as Minister of Interior only two weeks after.[18]

Nishani was admitted to hospital for complications of pneumonia caused by post-COVID-19 fibrosis left in his lungs.[38] On 23 April 2022, he was transferred to Germany for specialized treatment.[39] He died in Berlin, Germany at 7 a.m. (06 UTC) of 28 May 2022, at the age of 55.[5][40] In the afternoon of 31 May, his body arrived in the country from Germany with a hearse crossing the Kosovo-Albania border Morina. After the arrival, his body was lay in state in the Presidential Palace. The government declared a day of national mourning for 2 June.[41] The state funeral took place on that day, from 10:00 to 12:00 and Nishani was buried in the Sharra public cemetery in Tirana.[42]

Honours Edit

Foreign honours Edit

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ a b "Nga mbiemri Mehmeti tek ushtria: Kush ishte Bujar Nishani, Presidenti i 6-të i Republikës?". Vox. 28 May 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "BUJAR NISHANI". Presidency of Albania.
  3. ^ "Bujar Nishani bën dedikimin e ndjerë si asnjëherë më parë, publikon foton e prindërve dhe ka një mesazh special". SOT (in Albanian). 7 March 2021.
  4. ^ "ALBANIA AND THE WESTERN BALKANS: A EUROPEAN FUTURE?". thechicagocouncil.org. 27 September 2016. Archived from the original on 18 September 2020. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  5. ^ a b Xhajanka, Etleva (28 May 2022). "Ndahet nga jeta ish-Presidenti Bujar Nishani" (in Albanian). Agjencia Telegrafike Shqiptare. Retrieved 28 May 2022.
  6. ^ a b c d "Ndahet nga jeta ish-Presidenti Bujar Nishani, prej një muaji ishte në gjendje të rëndë në spital, në Gjermani". Gzeta Si (in Albanian). 28 May 2022.
  7. ^ "Një biografi e shkurtër/ Kush ishte presidenti Bujar Nishani, karriera, formimi dhe familja!". Alfa Press (in Albanian). 28 May 2022.
  8. ^ "PËR MIRATIMIN E DEKRETIT TË PRESIDENTIT TË REPUBLIKËS PËR EMËRIM MINISTRI" (in Albanian). Albanian Government's Gazette. 19 March 2007.
  9. ^ a b "PËR MIRATIMIN E PËRBËRJES DHE PROGRAMIT POLITIK TË KËSHILLIT TË MINISTRAVE" (in Albanian). Albanian Government's Gazette. 17 September 2009.
  11. ^ Berisha shpall emrat e qeverisë së re (in Albanian)
  13. ^ Lika, Albana (11 June 2012). "Konsultimi i Berishës me aleatët, i Ramës me Ruçin. Page 2". Metropol via Issuu.
  14. ^ Likmeta, Besar (11 June 2012). "Albania Presidential Candidate Withdraws Before Vote". Balkan Insight.
  15. ^ Likmeta, Besar (11 June 2012). "Turbulenzen bei Präsidentenwahl in Albanien". Welt (in German).
  16. ^ a b Likmeta, Besar (25 July 2012). "Bujar Nishani Sworn in as Albania's President". Balkan Insight.
  17. ^ Semini, Llazar (11 June 2012). "Albania elects new president despite protests". The San Diego Union-Tribune.
  18. ^ a b "Former Albanian President Bujar Nishani dies at 55". ABC News. 28 May 2022.
  19. ^ "L'adhésion à l'Union européenne priorité majeure du nouveau président albanais". Le Point (in French). 24 July 2012.
  20. ^ "Pročitajte ovo na". info.ks.net. 30 August 2012.
  21. ^ Marusic, Sinisa Jakov (31 May 2013). "Macedonia Rescues Threatened Ministerial Summit". Balkan Insight.
  22. ^ "Kryetari i Shqipërisë, Bujar Nishani ka kërkura nga OKB-ja ta njohë pavarësinë e Kosovës". Radio Kosova e Lirë. 23 September 2016.
  23. ^ Likmeta, Besar (19 November 2012). "Albania's Exiled Monarch Laid to Rest in Tirana". Balkan Insight.
  24. ^ Likmeta, Besar (15 July 2013). "Albania's New Leaders Urged to Ban Waste Imports". Balkan Insight.
  25. ^ Likmeta, Besar (2013-08-16). Albania President Hands Military HQ to Party. Balkan Insight. Retrieved 2022-10-31.
  26. ^ "Edi Rama officially named Albanian's new premier". San Diego Union Tribune. 10 September 2013.
  27. ^ "Greece technically still at war with Albania". Anadolu Agency. 4 November 2013.
  28. ^ "Bujar Nishani nis luftën ndaj qeverisë, mbledh ambasadorët e NATO për të mbajtur nën kontroll ushtrinë dhe SHIU". Gazeta Sot. 8 May 2014.
  29. ^ "Nishani "përplaset" sërish me Naçon për reformën në drejtësi". Gazeta Shqip. 19 April 2014.
  30. ^ "Erdogan calls for dialogue in Macedonia". Anadolu Agency. 13 May 2015.
  31. ^ Mejdini, Fatjona (18 December 2015). "Albania Parliament Bans Criminals From Politics". Balkan Insight.
  32. ^ "Bujar Nishani del kundër Berishës, s'do të ishte pozitive që qytetarët të pajiseshin me armë". IN TV. 21 April 2016.
  33. ^ Çela, Lindita (26 June 2016). "KLD dhe Presidenti e vendosin karrierën e magjistratëve mbi gogla". Reporter Albania.
  34. ^ "Albania H.E. Mr. Bujar Nishani, President". 23 September 2016.
  35. ^ "Albania's President Bujar Nishani Arrives in Bulgaria on 2-Day Visit". 6 October 2015.
  36. ^ "Ilir Meta sworn in as Albania's new president". Tirana Times. 24 July 2017.
  37. ^ "Historike, Një president shqiptar, Bujar Nishani pas Preshevës, për herë të parë ne haxhë, vizitë në Qabe". Presheva Jone (in Albanian). 21 April 2017.
  38. ^ "Bujar Nishani përfundon në Sanatorium". Gazeta Tema (in Albanian). 21 April 2022.
  39. ^ "Ndërron jetë ish-presidenti Bujar Nishani". Voice of Albanians (in Albanian). 28 May 2022.
  40. ^ Semini, Llazar (28 May 2022). "Former Albanian President Bujar Nishani dies at 55". Associated Press. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  41. ^ "Për shpalljen ditë zie kombëtare në nderim të të ndjerit, z. Bujar Nishani, ish-president, ish-ministër dhe ish-deputet" (in Albanian). Albanian Government's Gazette. 1 June 2022.
  42. ^ "Late President Nishani Taken To Cemeteries With Ceremony". Albanian Daily News. 2 June 2022.
  43. ^ "Nishani nderohet me titullin "Nderi i Qytetit të Libohovës" dhe vlerëson... vajzat e bukura dhe gjellët e shijshme të zonës". Gazeta Tema (in Albanian). 18 August 2013.
  44. ^ "Kreut të Shtetit shqiptar i jepet Titulli "Nder i Qarkut të Shkodrës"". president.al (in Albanian). 1 November 2016. Archived from the original on 9 November 2016. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
  45. ^ "Kreut të Shtetit shqiptar i jepet titulli "Qytetar Nderi" i Prizrenit". president.al (in Albanian). 14 May 2017. Archived from the original on 17 May 2017. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  46. ^ "Drenasi vlerëson Presidentin Nishani me titullin "Qytetar Nderi"". president.al (in Albanian). 14 May 2017. Archived from the original on 17 May 2017. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  47. ^ "Nishani S.E. Bujar Decorato di Gran Cordone". quirinale.it (in Italian).
  48. ^ "Italia-Albania, Napolitano giunto a Tirana per visita di Stato". it.notizie.yahoo.com (in Italian). 4 March 2014. Archived from the original on 8 January 2017. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
  49. ^ "Presidenca - Nr. 5 Viti i katërt i botimit SHQIPTARE" (PDF). president.al (in Albanian). Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 April 2016. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  50. ^ "Nishani dekorohet nga homologu bullgar me Urdhrin 'Stara Planina'". shqiptarja.com (in Albanian). 2 July 2016.
  51. ^ "Grand Master Fra' Matthew Festing receives the President of Albania Bujar Nishani on an official visit". orderofmalta.int. 7 November 2017.
  52. ^ "President Thaçi received the President of Albania, Bujar Nishani". president-ksgov.net.
  53. ^ "Royal Family officially received by Albanian president" (blog). 15 June 2017.

External links Edit

  • MP page at the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
Political offices
Preceded by
Gjergj Lezhja
Minister of the Interior
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Justice
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of the Interior
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of Albania
Succeeded by