Kiro GligorovThe first President of independent Macedonia
Born May 3, 1917 in Stip, Republic of Macedonia.Died January 1, 2012, Skopje. Originates from an urban family, actively involved in the national liberation movement in Macedonia in the past and the beginning of this century. Completed secondary education in the Skopje Gymnasium. Graduated from the Faculty of Law in Belgrade in 1938. During the period of his studies, actively participated in the students’ movement in Belgrade. After graduation, returns to Skopje, where he works as an attorney in a private bank. On the outbreak of the Second World War, actively takes part in the anti-fascist and people’s liberation movement in Macedonia. A member of the People’s Liberation Struggle (Narodno Osloboditelna Borba) from 1941. Member of ASNOM (Anti-fascist Assembly of the National Liberation Movement of Macedonia). 1944- 1945 – appointed in charge of finances of the Presidium of ASNOM, at the time of the proclamation of the Macedonian state. Member of AVNOJ (Anti-fascist Assembly of the National Liberation Movement of Yugoslavia).
Following the end of the Second World War and the proclamation of the People’s Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Federativna Narodna Republika Jugoslavija), directed by the leadership of the People’s Republic of Macedonia to Belgrade. From 1945 to the beginning of the 60-ies, holds specialized executive functions in the spheres of economy and finance:
- Assistant General Secretary in the Government of the People’s Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1945 – 1947)
- Assistant Minister of Finance in the Ministry of Finance of the People’s Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1952 – 1953)
- Deputy Director of the Federal Institute for Economic Planning (1953 – 1955)
- Secretary of the Federal Executive Council for Economic Issues
- Federal Secretary of Finance (1962 -1967)
- Vice President of the Federal Executive Council (1967 – 1969)
He was one of the leading economists supporting the advancement of a market economy in Yugoslavia. Becomes the Head of the Federal Government team that conceptualized and carried out the first market based economic reform in Yugoslavia in the 60-ies. It was the first such economic reform in the then “socialist world”. Unfortunately, due to well known political reasons, reforms were suspended. In the upcoming period, however, he is active in conducting theoretical research and socioeconomic studies pertaining to the necessity of the development of market economy. Throughout this period he was involved as:
- member of the Council of the Institute for International Politics and Economy
- President of the Institute for Social Sciences
- participant in numerous specialized conferences in Yugoslavia and the world and published numerous articles in specialized publications
- At the beginning of the 70-ies he was elected:
- member of the Presidency of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1974 – 1978)
- President of the Parliament of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Immediately following his function as President of the Parliament of the SFR of Yugoslavia, he is practically removed from the political life in Yugoslavia. However, throughout this period, he is active in pursuing theoretical and expert research. Almost 15 years later, in the late 1980-ies, he is once again incorporated in the Government team of Ante Markovic for the implementation of a new market economy in Yugoslavia.
At the onset of the crises of Yugoslavia (1989 – 1990) he makes a come back in the political life of Macedonia, promoting multi-party elections and the introduction of a market economy. These activities resulted in his election as President of the Republic of Macedonia, on the first free, multi-party elections on January 27, 1991. While in office as President of the Republic of Macedonia, the Republic of Macedonia has:
- proclaimed its independence on a general referendum on September 8, 1991. Through this act, the Republic of Macedonia became the only Republic of the former SFR Yugoslavia to attain its independence through a peaceful and legitimate manner.
- declared its new Constitution on November 17, 1992 – the document establishing the foundations of a civil society, legal state, parliamentary democracy and market economy.
- succeed in having the Yugoslav National Army (JNA) leave its territory through agreement (spring 1992), thus making the Republic of Macedonia the only one of the Republics which did not participate in the war in the former Yugoslav region.
- fulfilled its centuries old ideal for attaining an equal place in the international family of nations. On April 13, 1993, the Republic of Macedonia became a member of the Organization of the United Nations.
On October 3, 1995, around 9:45 AM, an attempt on the life of the President of Macedonia,Kiro Gligorov, was made. His motor vehicle was damaged by a car bomb activated in the vicinity of the Bristol Hotel as the vehicle was passing. Several citizens were injured and considerable damage was done to the houses in the vicinity. The President’s chauffeur was killed in the attack, while the President was immediately conveyed to hospital.
Gligorov emerged from a roughly four-month hospital stay with deep facial scars. A bomb, which targeted his car as he headed to work in the capital, Skopje, cost him an eye and killed his driver and a bystander. No suspects were ever arrested.
Kiro Gligorov, the first democratically elected president of Macedonia, who shepherded Macedonia through a bloodless secession from the former Yugoslavia, died on January 1, 2012, in his sleep. He was 94.