Alfred Moisiu was the fourth President of Albania and was in the office from 2002 to 2007. He was a military man who joined the public life and contributed towards the transformation of the country in more ways than one. Alfred Moisiu belonged to a family who had served the army for many generations and in fact his father Spiro Moisiu was a Major General in the Albanian Army as a result it was not really a surprise when he too joined the army. Ater graduating from the military engineering school in Saint Petersburg, Soviet Union, Alfred Moisiu served in various capacities in Albanian Army. Moisiu also served as the Deputy Minister of Defence and later on as the Minister of Defence. However, his career also suffered when the plan of bunkerisation did not go as planned and he had to spend some years out of public life. His appeal as a leader of the nation, however, was never beyond doubt as he became the presidential candidate endorsed by two of the biggest parties in Albania.
Childhood & Early Life
Alfred Spiro Moisiu was on 1 December 1929 in Shkoder, Albania to Spiro Theodori Moisiu and Aspasi Druga. Moisiu’s family had served the army for many generations and his father Spiro was also the Major General of the Albanian National Liberation Army.
In 1946, Alfred Moisiu was sent to Soviet Union for higher studies and, in 1948, he graduated from the military engineering school in Saint Petersburg. Subsequently, he was appointed the unit commander at Tirana followed by a stint as a teacher at the Military Academy.
In 1952, Alfred Moisiu took admission in the Academy of Military Engineering located in Moscow and graduated with a gold medal in 1958.
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After graduating from the Academy of Military Engineering in Moscow, Moisiu went back to Albania and continued his military career in the engineers' department of the Ministry of Defense.
Moisiu was the commander of the brigade in Kavaje from 1966 and he held the position for five years. Subsequently, in 1971, he became the chief of the Bureau of Engineering and Fortifications of the Ministry of Defence.
In 1979, Alfred Moisiu completed his PhD in military science. He was appointed as the Deputy Minister of Defence in 1981 and during his year long tenure in that position he advocated the bunkerisation in large parts of Albania. The move proved to be a misadventure for the government and Moisiu was removed from his post. For the next two years, he worked as the commander of an engineers’ company before quitting the Army in 1984.
After being in the wilderness for seven years, Alfred Moisiu came back into public life after he was appointed as the Minister of Defence in the Vilson Ahmeti's government in 1991. He served in that post for four months. Subsequently he worked as a counselor to the Ministry of Defence.
Alfred Moisiu served as the deputy minister from 1994 onwards and was tasked with elaborating the defence politics of Albania. In the same year, he established the Albanian North Atlantic Association and became its president with the objective of entering NATO. A year later he helped in Albania becoming a part of the Partnership of Peace programme at NATO. After serving as the deputy minister for three years, Alfred Moisiu was removed from his post when the Albanian Socialist Party formed the government.
In 2002, Alfred Moisiu was announced as the candidate for presidency after consensus was reached between the two important parties in Albania—the Albanian Socialist Party and the Albanian Democratic Party. He won by a landslide and served as the President of Albania for five years.
Alfred Moisiu was an extremely influential man in the history of Albanian politics and military. His most important work was in establishing the Albanian North Atlantic Association in 1994 that led to Albania becoming a part of the NATO project named Partnership of Peace.
Personal Life & Legacy
Alfred Moisiu married Milica Moisiu and the couple had four children—three daughters, Rubena, Ana and Mirela, and a son named Admir. Admir died in an accident in 2004. Moisiu’s wife died in 2002, the same year that he became the President.