Birthday: October 15, 1944
Age: 76 Years, 76 Year Old Males
Sun Sign: Libra
Also Known As: Prof. Dr. Sali Berisha , Sali Ram Berisha
Born in: Viçidol
Famous as: Former President & Prime Minister of Albania
political ideology: (1968) - Political party - Party of Labour, (1991–present)- Democratic Party
Spouse/Ex-: Liri Berisha
father: Ram Berisha
mother: Sheqere Berisha
children: Argita Malltezi, Shkëlzen Berisha
Founder/Co-Founder: Democratic Party of Albania
education: University of Tirana
Who is Sali Berisha?
Sali Berisha is an Albanian politician who served as the President and the Prime Minister of Albania. Beside, being a politician, he is also a renowned cardiologist. Berisha studied at the University of Tirana and received a degree in medicine, with specialisation in cardiology. Berisha worked as a lecturer and researcher at the University of Tirana and went on to become a professor at the university. He was also a politically inclined person and became a member of the Albanian Party of Labor early on in his life. However, he became a political force only after he joined the Democratic Party of Albania and it was with the latter party that he entered the Albanian parliament. Sali Berisha became the President of Albania in the year 1992 and being a non-Marxist he ushered in an era of free market economics as well as privatisation that led to economic growth of the country after the Albanian economy had been in dire straits under the previous governments. Berisha also went to serve Albania as its Prime Minister for two consecutive terms.
Childhood & Early Life
Sali Berisha was born on October 15, 1944 to Ram Berisha and his wife Shereque Berisha in Vicodol Tropoje District, in northern Albania. He belonged to a family of peasants but not a lot is known about his family.
Sali Berisha studied at little known schools in his hometown but he did well in studies to win a place to study medicine at the University of Tirana. Berisha graduated with the degree in the year 1967 and his area of specialty was cardiology. Berisha had also joined the Albanian Part of Labor during his days as a student.
After graduating in medicine, Sali Berisha started working as an assistant professor at the University of Tirana and before long he was recognised as one of the most important research scholars in cardiology in Albania. Subsequently he became a professor at the University of Tirana and in the year 1978 he went to Paris on UNESCO fellowship for advanced study and training.
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Sali Berisha grew in stature as a researcher in medical sciences over the years and in 1986, he was elected as a member of the European Committee for Research on Medical Sciences.
Besides his medical research, he also remained active in politics. He requested his party, the Albanian Part of Labor, to establish a new constitution, recognise freedom of speech and also to get rid of all monuments that celebrated the former Russian dictator Joseph Stalin.
After having campaigned for political reforms under the regime of Albanian President Ramiz Alia for many years; Sali Berisha became the leader of the Democratic Party of Albania in the year 1990 and the following year he became a member of the Albanian parliament as a representative of the party. He also became the chairman of the party in the same year.
In 1992, Albania had its first free elections and Sali Berisha became the President of the country in the same year. In Berisha, the Albanian people had their first president who was not a communist and during his five year reign as the President he embarked on a campaign of Islamisation of the country.
Sali Berisha’s time as the President of Albania was marked by collapse of a Ponzi scheme in which the Albanian people lost a reportedly staggering $1 billion and that led to widespread protests since the government was blamed for having an interest in the whole affair. Even the police and army deserted their posts; however Berisha refused to hand in his resignation. In the elections held in 1997, he lost the power and spent the next eight years as leader of the opposition as a representative of the Democratic Party.
Sali Berisha became the Prime Minister of Albania on September 8, 2005 after the five party coalition that he led ended up gaining a majority. During his tenure as Prime Minister, the US President George W. Bush visited the country, becoming the first US president to do.
In 2009, Sali Berisha led his party to another win but he needed the help of another socialist party named Socialist Movement for Integration of Ilir Meta to make up the numbers. His tenure as the Prime Minister was marred by ugly violent clashes between the government forces and opposition, which marred Albania’s image. As Prime Minister, Sali Berisha supported the adoption of laws that would protect Albania’s LGBT population against any kind of discriminations.
Following the turbulent period of his second stint as Prime Minister, his party lost the parliamentary elections that were held in the years 2013 and Berisha took full responsibility for the debacle and resigned.
During Sali Berisha’s stint as the President of Albania from 1992 to 1997, he reorganised the economy and brought in an era of privatisation that saw the Albanian economy grow by leaps and bounds. The economy of Albania had been in a perilous state following years of communist rule.
Personal Life & Legacy
In 1971, Sali Berisha got married to Liri Rama, a paediatrician by profession. The couple has a son named Shkelzen and a daughter named Argita.