Kiro Gligorov

Kiro Gligorov
Киро Глигоров
1st President of Macedonia
In office
January 27, 1991  November 19, 1999
Preceded by Vladimir Mitkov (as President of SR Macedonia)
Succeeded by Boris Trajkovski
Personal details
Born (1917-05-03)May 3, 1917
Štip, Kingdom of Serbia (then controlled by Kingdom of Bulgaria)
Died January 1, 2012(2012-01-01) (aged 94)
Skopje, Republic of Macedonia
Nationality Macedonian
Political party Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM)
Spouse(s) Nada Misheva (died in 2009)

Kiro Gligorov (Macedonian: Киро Глигоров, pronounced [ˈkirɔ ˈɡliɡɔrɔf]), May 3, 1917  January 1, 2012) was the first President of the Republic of Macedonia, serving from 1991 to 1999. He held various high positions in the political establishment of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, including as Secretary of State for Finance in the Federal Executive Council, a member of the Yugoslav Presidency, as well as President of the Assembly of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from May 15, 1974 to May 15, 1978.

Early life

Born in Štip, Kingdom of Serbia (then under Bulgarian control),[1] Gligorov later graduated from the University of Belgrade's Law School. After the defeat of Yugoslavia in 1941, he returned to Skopje, where Gligorov worked as a lawyer until 1943. Afterwards he participated in the National Liberation War of Macedonia as a secretary of the Initiative committee for the organization of the Antifascist Assembly of the National Liberation of Macedonia (ASNOM) and a finance commissioner in the Presidium of ASNOM.[2] He served as Finance Minister of Yugoslavia from 1962 to 1967.

After the promotion of parliamentary democracy in the country in 1990, he became the first democratically elected president of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia on January 27, 1991. On April 16, 1991, the parliament adopted the constitutional amendment for removing the "Socialist" adjective from the official name of the country, and on June 7 the same year, the new name Republic of Macedonia was officially established, hence Gligorov continued his presidency as the President of the Republic of Macedonia.[3]

He served for two terms, from January 27, 1991, to November 19, 1999. He was re-elected for his second term in office on November 19, 1994. He led his country to independence proclaimed after the referendum held on September 8, 1991, and tried to keep it out of the Yugoslav wars, a task made difficult by disputes with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Albania, Bulgaria and Greece who all faced separate issues with the country.

Assassination attempt

On October 3, 1995, Gligorov was the target of a car bomb assassination attempt in Skopje. While en route from his residence to his office, the vehicle carrying Gligorov was blown up by an explosion from a parked vehicle, killing his driver and injuring several passers-by. Gligorov was seriously injured above his right eye and was immediately conveyed to the hospital.[4]

Since the incident there have been no suspects brought to book and no progress has been made in the investigation of the case. However, there have been short-lived speculations as to who could be the culprits. Shortly after bombing, the Minister of Internal Affairs Ljubomir Frčkovski publicly claimed that "a powerful multinational company from a neighbouring country" was behind the assassination attempt,[5] with the Macedonian media pointing at the Bulgarian Multigroup and the Yugoslav KOS as possible suspects.[5] During a meeting between Multigroup head Iliya Pavlov and Gligorov in Ohrid, Pavlov assured Gligorov that his organisation was not involved.[5] All investigations were futile.[5]

Gligorov was incapacitated until November 17, 1995. He was permanently blind in one eye as a result. Stojan Andov was acting president during Gligorov's recuperation.

The election for Gligorov's successor took place only a few days before the end of his term.


Gligorov died at the age of 94 in the early hours of January 1, 2012, in his sleep.[6] It is known that his request was that the funeral be private with only his closest family in attendance. He was buried in Butel Municipality, Skopje.[7]

Kiro was the father of Vladimir Gligorov, a refounder of the Democratic Party in Serbia.



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Political offices
Preceded by
Vladimir Mitkov
President of the SR Macedonia
Succeeded by
Post abolished
(himself as President of the Republic of Macedonia)
Preceded by
post created
(himself as President of the SR Macedonia)
President of the Republic of Macedonia
Succeeded by
Boris Trajkovski
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