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Mustafa Merlika-Kruja
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Mustafa Merlika-Kruja

Mustafa Merlika-Kruja[1] (March 15, 1887, Ak ahisar, Ottoman Empire (modern day Kruj , Albania) December 27, 1958, Niagara Falls) was Prime Minister of Albania during the Italian occupation from December 4, 1941 January 19, 1943, and one of the signatories of Albanian Declaration of Independence.

After participating as a volunteer in Ottoman army during the Italo-Turkish War in 1912 he became a Governor. In 1913 he joined the Ministry of Education and in 1914 became an advisor of the Ministry of Public Education. In 1918 he was Minister of Posts and Telegraphs. In 1921 he was elected to the Albanian parliament and in 1924 he was appointed prefect.

On August 4, 1939, after the personal union of Albania to the crown of Italy, Merlika-Kruja was appointed as a Senator within the Italian Kingdom until August 25, 1944, when he resigned. During his tenure he was a member of the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Customs legislature.

In the Spring of 1944 he escaped by boat from Albania to Italy and from there to Egypt. There he met an old rival of his, the Albanian King Ahmed Zogu. After World War II he lived in France. The last years of his life were spent in the United States of America.


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