Albania is a republic, whose president mainly
has a ceremonial role. The executive power lies with the
government. The legislative parliament is dominated by
two political parties: the Conservative Democratic Party
(PD) and the Socialist Party (PS). Between the two,
there is a deep conflict with historical roots. The
prime minister is appointed by the president on a
proposal by the party or party alliance that has a
majority in parliament. The judiciary and party politics
are plagued by corruption and the influence of organized
Albania's current constitution was adopted in 1998.
It replaced a provisional constitution from 1991, when
the country's communist dictatorship fell. Some
constitutional amendments have been made since 1998,
including the Election Act 2008, and in 2016 Parliament
adopted a comprehensive judicial reform which requires a
number of amendments to the constitution (see Current
Total population and chart of Albania for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also covers population density, birth rate, death rate and population growth rates.
The legislative power lies with Parliament (Kuvendi
Popullor), who is elected for four years at a
time. As of the 2009 parliamentary elections, all 140
members are elected in proportionate elections;
previously, 100 of them were selected in one-man
election circles. At the same time, the threshold for
parliamentary seats was raised, from 2.5 to 3 percent of
the votes for individual parties, and from 4 to 5
percent for party alliances. The change came about after
a settlement between the two dominant parties and is
considered to favor them.
The government is the highest executive body. The
President, who is Head of State and Commander-in-Chief,
is elected by Parliament by a minimum of three-fifths
majority for a term of five years and may be re-elected
once. If no president is elected after five votes, a new
election is held for Parliament. The President approves
the composition of the government and appoints the
members of the Supreme Court, which must be approved by
Parliament. The President may not have any formal party
Administratively, Albania is divided into 12 counties
and 36 districts. Each district has a governor and a
municipal council, which appoints the governor.
Albanian politics is characterized by strong
contradictions between the Socialist Party of
Albania (Partia Socialiste e Shqipėrisė, PS,
also PSSh) and the Democratic
Party of Albania (Partia Demokratike e
Shqipėrisė, PD, also PDSh). The
ideological differences between them are in fact small.
PS has the strongest support in the south, while PD is
the largest in the north. Conflicts also occur within
the parties, which has led to many smaller breaker
parties being formed.
PD was founded in 1990 and has its roots in the
student movement. Active anti-Communists then joined the
party, which was ideologically close to Western Europe's
conservative and Christian democratic parties. Sali
Berisha was party leader until 2013 and was sometimes
criticized for acting authoritatively. PD led government
coalitions in 1992–1997 and returned to power in 2005.
After losing in the 2013 elections, Berisha resigned as
party leader and was succeeded by Lulzim Basha.
The Socialist Party has evolved from the old
power-carrying Communist Party and led governments in
1997-2005 and returned to power in 2013. The party has
been characterized by contradictions between
representatives of the "old guard", with former party
leader Fatos Nano at the head, and more reform-friendly
forces. Nano resigned as party leader in 2005 and was
replaced by Edi Rama, who did not support Nano when he
was running for president in 2007. Edi Rama has been
prime minister since 2013.
Previously, the contradictions were fierce between
Nano and party colleague Ilir Meta, who was also prime
minister. However, Meta broke away from the Socialist
Party in 2004 and formed the Socialist Movement
for Integration (Lėvizja Socialiste pėr
Integrim, LSI). The Social Democratic
LSI was a member of both the PD government in 2009-2013
and the PS government from 2013. Ilir Meta left the
party leader post when he became president in 2017 and
LSI is now led by Monika Kryemadhi.
Among smaller parties that have collaborated with the
socialists are the Albanian Social Democratic
Party (Partia Socialdemokrate e Shqipėrisė,
PSD) and the middle party
Democratic Alliance Party (Partia Aleanca
Demokratike, PAD), which broke out of
PD in the early 1990s.
Some of the Conservative parties that have worked
with the PD are the Republican Party of Albania
(Partia Republikane e Shqipėrisė, PR),
the Agrara Environmental Party (Partia
Agrare Ambientaliste, PAA) and the
Union for Human Rights (Partia Bashkimi
pėr tė Drejtat e Njeriut, PBDNJ). The
latter represents the Greek and Macedonian minorities.
In 2012, defectors from PD formed the new party
New Democratic Spirit (Fryma e Re Demokratike,
FRD), who said they wanted to represent
the emerging middle class who did not feel at home in
any of the old parties.
Civil society is considered to have little
opportunity to make its voice heard. NGOs complain about
close links between the political parties, the business
community and the media, which make it difficult for
other groups to influence development.
General military duty is abolished
Parliament votes to abolish the general military duty
at year-end 2009/2010.
Albania offered NATO membership
Sixteen years after Albania submitted an application
for entry into NATO, the country is offered membership
in the Western Defense Alliance.
The Minister of Defense resigns after an explosion
in army storage
Twenty-six people are killed and around 300 injured
when an army warehouse outside the capital Tirana
explodes. The accident occurs when soldiers are to
destroy old ammunition for security reasons. Over 300
buildings nearby are totally destroyed. The accident is
believed to have been due to carelessness and leads to
the departure of the Minister of Defense.
Recognizes Kosovo's independence
Albania officially recognizes Kosovo as a sovereign
state, one day after the country unilaterally declared