Memorie.al publishes the unknown story of how 92 years ago, on September 1, 1928, (Saturday), a Constitutional Assembly which was elected by the elections held on August 16 of that year and chaired by Pandeli Evangeli, decided with full unanimity to change the form of government of Albania, turning the country from the Republic, which was until then, into a parliamentary Monarchy. And declaring the President of the Republic, Ahmet Zogu, as King of the Albanians. All the procedures on how he acted to change the form of government of Albania, from Republic to Monarchy, and the proclamation of Ahmet Zogu as King of the Albanians, starting from the legal steps taken by the deputies of that time to achieve him the goal, and the deputies who most supported Zog to ascend the throne? As well as the special commission consisting of: Pandeli Evangjeli, Hiqmet Delvina, Kostaq Kota, Milto Tutulani, Abdurrahman Dibra, Ferit Vokopola, Javer Hurshiti, Fejzi Alizoti, Fiqri Rusi, Hafiz Xhemali, Mihal Kaso, Ndrek Kindi, Ndrek Kici, , Seit Toptani, Ahmet Hastopalli, Rexhep Matja, Halit Rroji, Anton Beça, Pjetër Poga, Xheferr Ypi, Sulejman Starova, Spiro Papa and Dr. Simonidhi, who was tasked by the Assembly to prepare the articles of the statute for the proclamation of the Monarchy and the proclamation of Ahmet Zogu as King of the Albanians.
Regarding that unusual and much talked about event in the historiography of the Albanian state that changed the form of government, which continues to be today the subject of numerous debates among scholars, historians, but also the political class, in the following article we are giving in full all the steps and procedures that were followed by the deputies of that time and the Constitutional Assembly elected by them, to make possible the return of Albania, from the Republic, to the Monarchy, as well as the proclamation of Ahmet Zogu, as King Albanians.
For all these, we have relied mainly on the writings of those days as well as the official publications of the period of King Zog’s Monarchy, which accurately reflected the legal way and all the necessary steps on how the political class of that time proceeded. Likewise, in this short history of the founding of the Kingdom of Albania, we are giving what were those states that recognized and supported the proclamation of Zog as King and who opposed and did not recognize him.
Why did the regime have to change its form?
According to numerous articles published in various organs of the Albanian press in those days when the Prime Minister and at the same time the President of Albania, Ahmet Zogu, was wearing the “Crown of Skanderbeg”, it was said that: “Most Albanians in 1925 when the proclamation was made of the Republic were dissatisfied with that form of regime which did not seem to fulfill their desires for some kind of better governance of the country. The traditions and mentality of the Albanians prevented them from understanding the ideals of a Republic and the occasional decisions of the parliament are not solving the most urgent problems that the country had despite the frequent changes of government. In official premises and circles it was increasingly heard that: A consolidated and inherited kingdom would ensure the continuity of the internal regime in comparison with the position of the President of the Republic, which was not very protected from precedents that not infrequently they seriously endangered him. ”
Adding a paragraph to the Statute of the Republic
In these conditions in June 1928, after the formation of the new government, President Zog, on behalf of the government and the deputies of the Parliament, in order to: to give the Albanian state a definite form of regime, in the conditions and situation of created, decreed August 5, 1928, as the day for the meeting of the Constituent Assembly, where a possible revision of the Constitution in force would take place. Thus, both chambers of the legislature, the Senate and the High Chamber of Deputies, based on the wishes of the Albanians and feeling the need for a general revision of the statute, in order to make it more appropriate, in a meeting Joint Assembly in the form of a legislative assembly, which was held on June 6 of that year, decided with full unanimity to add a paragraph to Article 141 of the Statute of the Republic, which stated: “General revision of the statute belongs only to the Constituent Assembly ”. Add this the paragraph in the statute was made in order that when the need arose for a general revision of the statute, both chambers were considered automatically dissolved and the elections for the Constituent Assembly were immediately decreed.
Decree of new elections on 17 August 1928
At the same meeting on June 6, the two chambers decided unanimously to dissolve them, paving the way for the Constituent Assembly to draft and vote on a new statute. Pursuant to this paragraph added to the statute and the decision taken by the legislative assembly to merge the two chambers, elections were decreed to be held on August 17, 1928. These elections took place on the appointed day and with a rule and perfect tranquility to admire, which had never happened before in the elections held since the opening of the first Albanian Parliament on April 21, 1921. Those elections were held in the proportion: an assembly for 15,000 inhabitants and for each faction that exceeded the number of 7,500 inhabitants, by indirect voting, thus making correct elections in all prefectures of Albania, such as: Shkodra, Kosovo, Dibra, Durres, Elbasan, Berat, Korca and Vlora. One week later, on August 25, 1928, the Assembly was opened with the message of the Presidency of the State, which was read by the Minister of Justice, Hiqmet Delvina, the first to be in the line of ministers. In his speech, among others, Minister Delvina said: “The Presidency of the Albanian State at this historic moment feels the greatest joy to greet you, the Father of this Sovereign Nation, and to welcome you and come out white-faced in the high mission that the nation has entrusted to you ”. At the end of his speech, Minister Delvina said: “The Presidency of the State and all its bodies having the greatest respect for the inviolable sovereignty of the Albanian people, which once again in the most formal way that you representatives will talk about the fates of this nation that you represent, how to judge and want it, as the most reasonable for the happiness of Albanians. The will of the people is the decision of your Lordship, which will have been an unchangeable path and will determine the direction of state life using the supremacy and will of the Nation.
Second meeting of the Assembly
After the second meeting of the Assembly, another meeting was held on August 27, where, as in the first meeting (that of August 25), the credentials were legalized and the elected ones were sworn in. The presidency of the Assembly was also elected with Mr. Pandeli Gospel. In the third meeting of the Assembly, a very large number of telegrams were read that had come from all the provinces and prefectures of Albania, expressing solidarity for the creation of the Monarchy and the proclamation of Ahmet Zogu as King of the Albanians. After reading the telegrams received from the people, the consideration of the first item of the agenda began, which had to do with the general revision of the statute. With the proposal of the deputy of Dibra, Abdurrahman Dibra, it was accepted by voting that: the provisions considered as too urgent to be changed, to enter into force from the moment of their voting. In the discussions that started about this, the floor was initially given to the deputy Abdurrahman Dibra, who, among other things, said: “It can be claimed that the monarchists are outdated, or that your time has passed, and that they undermine the sovereignty of the people, not God chairman. On the forms of states two theories are: Democracy and plutocracy. Of these, Democracy is divided into two types: republican democracies and monarchical democracies. Today only these two forms exist and these two forms have their source in the people. Heads of state are allowed to implement them. One can say today that the republican form is the most finished form, I say no, that if we take into account some republican countries, oligarchs have been formed there, on the other hand it cannot be said that the Belgian, Dutch and Scandinavian peoples are less sovereign of Brazil. No, as one sovereign is, so is the other. “Also, there is no difference between the statutes of France and England, so we have no choice but to determine the form of government that suits the people.” After the speech given by the deputy Abdurrahman Dibra, the other deputies discussed in turn, such as: Fejzi Alizoti of the Prefecture of Gjirokastra, Spiro Papa of Berat, Mihal Kaso of Gjirokastra (together with Javer Hurshit), Sulejma Starova and Xhafar Ypi of Korça continued afterwards with their discussions: Fiqri Rusi, H. Myftiu, K. Kosturi, Ndrek Kici, Dr. Stavri Pojani, Dr. Simonidhi, H. Papadhopulli, Kol Mjeda, Z. Poga, Hysen Vrioni, Anton Beça, Mark Kapidani, Rexhep Matja, Maliq Bushati, Th. Papapano, Mr. Begolli, closing the discussions Skrapar MP, Ferid Vokopola. In all the discussions of the deputies, the need was expressed for the establishment of the Monarchy and the Royal Crown of Skanderbeg to be handed over to Ahmet Zogu, who was described by them as: “Savior of the Nation”.
The word of of MP Kol Mjeda at the Assembly meeting
On September 1, 1928 (which was a Saturday), at 9 am, the fourth meeting of the Assembly was opened by the President Pandeli Evangjeli, who gave the floor for discussion to the deputy of Dibra, Kol Mjeda, who very Impressed, he addressed the assembly members with these words: “Gentlemen, in this season five centuries ago, the masses of the people (representatives of the people had gathered in Lesh, in the theoretical place to donate to the great Skanderbeg, the Albanian Crown, even today The Constituent Assembly has gathered to present to the savior of the nation the Crown of the great Queen Skanderbeg (the hall bursts into applause). that the Albanians put your wish into place, that you wanted to do it five centuries ago.O Skanderbeg, at this moment, your great-grandson, Zogu, is taking your place, who, with his own chest and his own slope, won Are you against Naim, but where are you Vaso? Come here and take out two poems from my heart I tell you to the world that the Albanian people have gathered near the throne of the great Skanderbeg and today they are proud that your old dream is coming true ”. After the speech of the deputy Kol Mjeda, which was interrupted several times by the applause, other deputies also discussed who ended their solemn speeches with the expressions: “Long live Zogu, King of the Albanians, Long live the Albanian Kingdom”.
Establishment of a commission for the Statute that would proclaim the Monarchy
After the speeches, a special commission was elected consisting of: Pandeli Evangjeli, Hiqmet Delvina, Kostaq Kota, Milto Tutulani, Abdurrahman Dibra, Ferit Vokopola, Javer Hurshiti, Fejzi Alizoti, Fiqri Rusi, Hafiz Xhemali, Mihal Kaso, Nd Khel , Ibrahim Xhindi, Seit Toptani, Ahmet Hastopalli, Rexhep Matja, Halit Rroji, Anton Beça, Pjetër Poga, Xheferr Ypi, Sulejman Starova, Spiro Papa and Dr. Simonidhi. This commission was commissioned by the Assembly to prepare the articles of the statute for the proclamation of the Monarchy and the proclamation of Ahmet Zogu as King of the Albanians. After the commission set up for this purpose drafted the statute, the President of the Assembly, Pandeli Evangjeli, addressed the participants with the following words: given the royal power, we have His Majesty Nalt, Ahmet Zogu, the Savior of the Nation, to prove with great patriotic deeds throughout the time of our self-rule. A King at the head of the Albanian, gives this on the one hand full of moral power, and on the other hand a calm government and full of strength for the good of the Nation in all its manifestations. Therefore, the statute commission presents the High Crown of the Albanian historical throne to the Savior of the Nation, Ahmet Zogu, on the topic: The First Bird, King of the Albanians. On this occasion, the commission proposes that there be a three-day holiday and that September 1 be declared an official holiday “. After the speech of the President of the Assembly, the voting of all articles of the statute presented by the relevant committee began and it was decided that on the same day of September 1 at 5 pm to come to Parliament to take the oath before the Assembly, the newly proclaimed King Zogu first. According to the decision of the Assembly, Ahmet Zogu appeared in Parliament at the appointed time taking the solemn oath that was sanctioned by the statute, an oath which was greeted with long applause by those present in the hall.
Zog’s speech in the Parliament after the proclamation of the King of the Albanians
After taking the oath, King Zog delivered a salutatory speech in front of the audience. In his speech he said: “Gentlemen. In the message I sent to you a few days ago, I greeted you and wished you success to the Fathers of the Nation. Today, I am addressing you as a friend, as a collaborator of the common ideal. If in your speech you will not find the lofty words of honest princes adorned with crowns, do not be surprised. That I see in the presidency of the Albanian State, in which the title is the faithful image of the people and the tireless servant of the people. Today, in the minute when I am charged with the heavy and high task of the state by the will and desire of the people to appear with the decisions of your conscience, I will act in view of the moral repossession which sooner or later, the people know what to do. Albanian for the elevation of the country. The world has received the news that we Albanian children can also create a state. After today, our task is more difficult because we have to show the world that the Albanian, like any civilized people, can get the culture which is the wealth of all and the ideal of the whole world. Only in this way can we secure a good future for our country. Under the new regime, Albania could have been a factor of peace in the Balkans.
The relations that exist today with neighboring and benevolent states will be strengthened even more. The bird with its companions will not only respect national rights, but also when needed with the high hand of that ideal that nature has given us and history has marked us, to fill the place in the square of civilization. How to finish the sacred duty, to return to your countries and to tell the sovereign people that Prisi, the ruler of the world, like any Albanian, and how quickly and enthusiastically you put him on the throne of Kastriot, so quickly pleasure you have always found him ready, to sacrifice them all, I need and life, after his desire and for the good of the country. Gentlemen, stand white in front of history “. After his speech, Ahmet Zogu newly crowned King of the Albanians, to the applause of those present who had filled the hall, where among them stood out the diplomatic corps accredited in our country and high state personalities invited to this rare event he was experiencing Albania left the Parliament hall surrounded by MPs. Outside the Parliament, King Zog was received by a large number of people not only from the capital, but also from different parts of the country, mainly from the areas of Mat, Mirdita and Dibra, which were known for their loyalty and support. given to Zog until that time.
First greetings from the Italian Ambassador, Ugo Sola
As soon as the swearing-in ceremony of all the diplomatic representatives who attended the coronation of the King of the Albanians ended, the Plenipotentiary Minister of Italy in Albania, Ugo Sola, was the first to send a congratulatory message to King Zog, where among other things he said: “Nalt -His Majesty King of the Albanians. I present to Your Highness the first greeting of the Allied Nation. The Government of N. T., King of Italy, sent me the order, which I exercise with pleasure and joy, to enter immediately into official relations with the Government of His Majesty, the King of the Albanians. My government saw closely, with pleasure, the change of regime, which received your Highness on the throne, which the loyal allies of Italy, Gjergj Kastrioti Skënderbeg, had left vacant for five centuries. I am sure that Your Majesty will be inspired by the traditions of this great forerunner, to maintain and further strengthen an alliance whose value, power and continuity are pressed by historical traditions and geographical reasons. . The work that your Highness, which has begun for the benefit of the Albanian people, has been followed since today with warm congratulations from the people and from the government of N. T. Sovereign, August “. Sola. Zogu returns the message and thanks the Italian government To this telegram that the Italian Minister in Albania, Ugo Sola, sent to King Zog, through which Italy officially recognized the Monarchical regime of Albania, Ahmet Zogu responded with a telegram, where in the middle others wrote: “To His Excellency, the Minister of Italy. Durres. I am deeply saddened by the words and wishes that Your Excellency displays to me. You have the kindness to express my warmest thanks to N. M. Sovereign August of Italy and the Duce, as well as to the great Italian people, for the support they have, with joy, to the Albanian people and to my person. I want to assure the Allied Government that the friendly and sincere relations that exist, in the times to come, can not but become more cordial. The alliance treaty concluded between the two governments will continue far beyond the specified period; has always continued. Personally, I thank your Excellency, who helped you so much to maintain good relations between the two countries and with your tireless work always leads you lucky. I owe you please, in a special way.
“Reassure me Duca for my gratitude and for my unchanging friendship.” The First Bird. After the telegram of the powerful minister (ambassador) of Italy in Albania, Ugo Sola, where the Italian government recognized the Albanian Monarchy and King Zog, in his address came many other telegrams from different countries of the world such as: Hungary, Greece, Yugoslavia , Uruguay, Bulgaria, USA, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Sweden, Finland, San Marino, Ecuador, Egypt etc. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, did not recognize King Zog While the Albanian Monarchy and King Zog was officially recognized by a large number of countries in the world, which as we said above also sent congratulatory telegrams, that did not happen with Turkey, where the president of that great state with old historical ties with Albania, Mustafa Qenmal Ataturku, not only did not know him, but aggravated his relations with Zog. That issue even went so far as to close and withdraw the respective embassies of the two countries for a period of three years. This meant that the rights of the Albanian population living and working in Turkey, which numbered a very large number, would be protected through the Italian consulate accredited in the great Asian country, as Albania’s ally and closest neighbor.
Zogu’s statement in the London newspaper, “THE ILY EXPRESS”
Ahmet Zogu’s proclamation as King of the Albanians was celebrated with various official ceremonies in all cities and provinces of Albania throughout the country, where almost all the people participated. The event also aroused the interest of the world press, where many well-known journalists of prestigious newspapers ran to Albania to get an interview from King Zog. Thus, in a long two-hour interview that King Zog gave in Tirana exclusively for the London newspaper “The Ily Express”, he stated, among other things: “The only difference for me now is that I have to work 18 hours a day and I have over the shoulders the responsibilities of the whole state. I am just a worker and I do my homework. This is the meaning of royal dignity for me “. The Royal Crown of Albania, which Ahmet Zogu officially took over on September 1, 1928, would be held until April 7, 1939, when his former closest ally, Benitio Mussolini, carried out military aggression against Albania and forced King Zog to finally leave his country, where he had ruled for almost 15 years./Memorie.al