State and politics
Since 1992, Albania has been a democratic republic with a
single-chamber parliament. As early as 1991, the former
Stalinist constitution, which designated the Albanian
Workers' Party as the only permissible change, would be
delayed until November 1998 before Albania adopted a new
constitution. Also see AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of AL and its meanings of Albania.
In 1994, in which the Democratic Party had a strong
majority, the Parliament adopted a new constitution that
would significantly strengthen the president's powers.
However, this was rejected in a referendum the same month.
In connection with the elections following the Albanian
state collapse in June 1997, a referendum was held on the
possible reintroduction of monarchy, but this was also
rejected by about 65 percent of the votes.
The constitutional issue became one of the truly poisoned
issues after the Socialists won a majority in Parliament in
June 1997, and the Democratic Party boycotted all
cooperation on a new constitution and, during periods, other
work in Parliament. In October 1998, Parliament passed a new
constitution, and the following month it was accepted in a
referendum. Some changes and additions have been made
thereafter, including an amendment to the Electoral Act 2008
and a comprehensive reform of the courts in 2016.
Parliament has 140 members. These are selected
proportionally for a period of four years; in the past, 100
were elected by majority vote, while 40 seats were
distributed proportionally between the participating
parties. Since 2009, a party must receive 3 percent of the
votes against the previous 2.5 percent, election alliances 5
percent against the previous 4 percent - a clear advantage
for the major parties.
Since 2008, according to the Equality Act on
decision-making items, there must be at least 30 percent
women. The law has not been followed even though the gender
representation has been leveled out slightly later.
The president, who is head of state and
commander-in-chief, has a ceremonial role and is elected by
a minimum of 3/5 majority of parliament for a maximum of two
At the local level, Albania is divided into twelve
counties, which in turn are divided into municipalities. As
of the 2014 reform, the number of municipalities was reduced
from 310 to 61. Local elections are held every three years.
There is a strong polarization between the two major
parties that have been in power: on the one hand the
Socialist Party, PS, with roots in the old Communist
Party and most supporters in southern Albania, and on the
other the Democratic Party, PD, founded in 1990 by
students and intellectuals and are most successful in the
The ideological differences between them are not that
great. The contradictions are mainly on the personal level.
Within the PS, a generation gap has been clear; The
exchanges have been many on the party leader post and the
quarrels within the party have led to outbursts.
Before the 2013 parliamentary elections, the opposition
between the parties was bitter. A conflict arose over the
composition of the electoral commission, the reliability of
the voting lists were questioned and accusations were made
about voting. Like previous elections, the upcoming
parliamentary elections were seen as a test of how mature
Albania was in order to enter into membership negotiations
with the EU.
Despite great political contradictions, the parties'
election promises were similar: both promised economic
growth, tax reform and new jobs. Both were also hot
advocates of continued EU integration.
Valalliances were formed around the two major parties.
The ruling Democratic Party joined with 24 other parties in
a center-right bloc. The Socialist Party formed an
opposition alliance with 36 parties.
Both sides quickly exclaimed victors. When the official
result was clear, it turned out that the Socialist Party's
alliance won by over 57 percent of the vote, compared to
just over 39 percent for the government alliance. After a
few days, Sali Berisha, who has been prime minister since
2005, admitted to being defeated. This reduced the risk of
continued concern. After the 2009 elections, the socialists
had refused to approve the result and for the most part
boycotted the work in Parliament for two years thereafter.
After the 2013 election loss, Berisha resigned as party
leader. He was succeeded by Lulzim Basha (born 1974).
Local elections were held in 2015. A large election
alliance led by the ruling socialist parties won 63 percent
of the vote and secured the mayor's post in 45
municipalities, while the majority of the remaining votes
and items went to an alliance dominated by the bourgeois
Democratic Party. Women won nine mayoral positions, as did
35 percent of council seats.
The political situation before the June 2017
parliamentary elections was unsettling. This was reflected
in the opposition's boycott of parliamentary work. It called
for a transitional government, which also included the
opposition, to be established, which they believed was the
only way to make fair elections. Through mediation by the US
and the EU, the opposition was partially heard for their
demands and the elections could, somewhat delayed, be
carried out without major problems.
The Socialist Party and Edi Rama (born 1964) gained
further confidence in the elections and, through a
convincing victory, were able to form government on their
own. The Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI),
which came in third place in the 2017 election after the
Socialist Party and the Democratic Party, did not get a seat
in the government. Since LSI's party leader and founder Ilir
Meta 2017 was elected president, his wife, Monika Kryemadhi
(born 1974) was elected as his successor. Meta, who was
Prime Minister from 1999 to 2002, succeeded Bujar Nishani
(born 1966) of the Democratic Party.
Women have traditionally had a hidden role in politics.
After the 2017 parliamentary elections, there were 32 female
MPs (about 22 percent), thus fewer than the country is
required by law. Of the government's 14 ministers, however,
half were women.
Albania, which during the communist period was
characterized by an almost hermetic closure and isolation
from the outside world, has changed drastically since the
beginning of the 1990s. Having previously been a member only
in the UN, the country is now a member of several
international cooperation organizations. The goal of
Albanian politicians since the fall of communism has been EU
membership and membership in the NATO defense alliance; on
this, there has been great agreement between the Albanian
In April 2009, the country was also accepted as a full
member of NATO. In June 2014, Albania was accepted as a
candidate country for the EU and in November 2016, the EU
Commission recommended that membership negotiations be
opened with Albania as soon as the legal reform adopted that
year also came into force.
See also Albania: (History).
During Communist times, Albania had created a legal
system according to Soviet models from the Stalin era. After
the fall of the communist regime, a legal system was begun
to be built to suit the needs of the market economy. The
death penalty was finally abolished in 2007. Already in
2000, this penalty had been abolished for most crimes.
When the European Council in 2014 approved Albania as a
candidate country for EU membership, the country's
application was conditional on the incorporation of a number
of legal reforms. Corruption permeates all strata of society
and is also one of the areas that the European Council has
identified as emergency, in particular the country's
authorities but also the judiciary and health care. The
corruption, among other things, causes the country to fail
in the implementation of its legislation.
Albanian society is strongly patriarchal, mainly in the
countryside and in the northern parts of the country. Rape
within marriage falls within the penal code but is almost
never prosecuted. The Albanian woman is subordinate to the
man and forced marriage occurs. In the 2009 parliamentary
elections, the female proportion of parliamentarians
increased to 16 per cent, from the previous 7 per cent.
The Roma part of the population is being discriminated
against and in 2014 the country lacked a functioning
anti-discrimination policy. Domestic violence, together with
discrimination against women, is one of the country's most
serious human rights problems. The country is both a country
of origin and destination for men, women and children who
are subjected to human trafficking for sexual purposes and
forced labor. Failure to comply with these human rights
causes thousands of Albanians to seek asylum annually in
neighboring EU countries. The majority of those who applied
for asylum in EU countries state reasons for domestic
violence as well as discrimination and persecution of LGBTQ
people and Roma.
The situation for the country's children is substandard
and homeless children live on the streets, most Roma. A
citizen becomes a criminal officer at the age of 14-16,
depending on the crime the child has committed. Although the
government has made efforts to improve the rights of the
children, much remains to be done.
The police use force, which can be seen as a result of a
poorly functioning legal system where police work in
difficult conditions, suffer from lack of education and
equipment and are poorly paid. The country's detention
centers are often overcrowded and often constitute a violent
environment. Homosexuals, Roma and Egyptians who are
arrested are particularly vulnerable to police violations.
Heads of state
||Prince Wilhelm of Wied (regent)
||Four regents without safe control of the country
|From 1928 Ahmed Zogu held the title of King (Zog
||Viktor Emanuel III
|(the country occupied by Italy)