1991 Albanian parliamentary election

Constitutional Assembly elections were held in the People's Socialist Republic of Albania on 31 March 1991, with later rounds on 7 April and 14 April.[1] They were the first multi-party elections since 1923, and were held after the formation of new political parties was legalised on 11 December 1990 following a strike by 700 students at the University of Tirana over poor dormitory conditions and a power failure, which subsequently became politicised under the influence of Sali Berisha.[2]

1991 Albanian parliamentary election
People's Socialist Republic of Albania
← 1987 31 March 1991 (1991-03-31) 1992 →

All 250 seats in Constitutional Assembly
126 seats needed for a majority
Turnout98.6% (Decrease 1.4%)
Party Leader % Seats ±
PPSH Ramiz Alia 56.17 169 -81
PD Sali Berisha 38.71 76 New
DEEM Vasil Bollano 0.73 5 New
KKVLAPSH Rustem Peçi 0.28 1 New
This lists parties that won seats. See the complete results below.
Prime Minister before Prime Minister after
Fatos Nano 2003.jpg Fatos Nano
PPSH
Fatos Nano
PPSH
Fatos Nano 2003.jpg

The result was a landslide victory for the socialist ruling Party of Labour of Albania, which won 169 of the 250 seats. Voter turnout was reported to be 98.6%.[3]

BackgroundEdit

The elections were held in an atmosphere of economic disruption and social instability. The ruling Party of Labour of Albania had various advantages while campaigning, such as control or influence over most media and a far larger pool of resources than its nascent opposition. There was also little opportunity for the urban-based Democratic Party of Albania and other anti-communist opposition parties to influence the rural countryside and its peasantry, who feared that the Democratic Party would privatize land holdings and restore them to pre-war landowners, which the ruling party emphasized as it focused its efforts on rural voters.[4][5] The PLA and its associated mass organizations (such as the Democratic Front) produced a platform which rested upon stated commitments to preventing the country's slide into "chaos" along with promises of promoting the growth of a regulated market economy, support for political pluralism, and support for European integration.[6] The Democratic Party platform promised the transformation of living standards through membership in the European Community, strong ties with the United States and other Western nations, Gastarbeiter jobs in Italian and German factories abroad, and immediate steps towards a free-market economy.[7]

The United States noticeably supported the Democratic Party, which the ruling PLA criticized to its own advantage. Democratic Party politician and Berisha aide Gramoz Pashko was quoted in mid-March after having visited the United States that his party would receive a "blank check" from the American Government upon coming to power, which would have entailed admission to such organizations as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.[8] "David Swartz, the head of the State Department delegation sent to reopen the U.S. embassy in Tiranë, said that the United States would provide Albania with desperately needed humanitarian assistance but that economic aid would be granted only if democratic forces came to power."[9] The National Endowment for Democracy gave around $103,000 to the dissident labor movement backing the Democratic Party along with, according to William Blum, activities aimed to "support training and civic education programs."[10]

Since the start of the campaign Democratic Party leaders claimed to international observers that the elections would neither be free nor fair,[11] and later stated that the elections had been conducted amid a "climate of fear." International observers, however, generally regarded the election as fair and that fraud and manipulation were minimal despite the substantial advantages enjoyed by the PLA.[12] Over 1,000 candidates from 11 parties or political movements, as well as a score of independents, contested the 250 parliamentary seats.

ResultsEdit

 
PartyVotes%Seats
Party of Labour of Albania1,046,12056.17169
Democratic Party of Albania720,94838.7175
Republican Party of Albania27,3931.470
Democratic Union of the Greek Minority13,5380.735
National Veteran's Committee5,2410.281
Agrarian Party of Albania1,3790.070
Ecology Party650.000
Other parties47,8362.570
Total1,862,520100.00250
Valid votes1,861,33295.46
Invalid/blank votes88,4844.54
Total votes1,949,816100.00
Registered voters/turnout1,977,51698.60
Source: Nohlen & Stöver, Dawisha & Parrott

By districtEdit

Regions Party of Labour of Albania Democratic Party Omonoia Committee of Veterans Total seats
Seats Seats Seats Seats
Berat 13 1 0 0 14
Dibër 11 0 0 1 12
Durrës 6 13 0 0 19
Elbasan 13 6 0 0 19
Fier 19 0 0 0 19
Gramsh 3 0 0 0 3
Gjirokastër 4 0 2 0 6
Kolonja 2 0 0 0 2
Korça 12 5 17
Kruja 8
Kukes 8
Lezha 5
Librazhd 5
Lushnja 11
Mat 6
Mirdita 4
Permet 3
Pogradec 5 0 0 0 5
Pukë 4 0 0 0 4
Sarandë 4 0 3 0 7
Skrapar 4 0 0 0 4
Shkodër 3 16 0 0 19
Tepelenë 4 0 0 0 4
Tirana 10 19 0 0 29
Tropojë 3 0 0 0 3
Vlorë 7 7 0 0 14
Total 169 75 5 1 250
% 67.6 30 2 0.4 100

AftermathEdit

The new People's Assembly was convened on 10 April. On 29 April a new constitution came into effect proclaiming the modern-day Republic of Albania, with the new post of President coming into existence a day later and held by Ramiz Alia, who resigned from his post as First Secretary of the PLA on the same day. On 12 June 1991 the PLA was reformed into the Socialist Party of Albania.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Albania: Elections held in 1991 Inter-Parliamentary Union
  2. ^ Elez Biberaj. Albania in Transition: The Rocky Road to Democracy. Boulder, CO.: Westview Press. 1998. pp. 63-65.
  3. ^ Dieter Nohlen & Philip Stöver (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p137 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  4. ^ Biberaj, pp. 95-97.
  5. ^ Miranda Vickers & James Pettifer. Albania: From Anarchy to a Balkan Identity. New York, NY: New York University Press. 2000. p. 53.
  6. ^ Biberaj, 95-96. Vickers & Pettifer, p. 52.
  7. ^ Vickers & Pettifer, pp. 55-56. Biberaj, pp. 98-99.
  8. ^ Vickers & Pettifer, p. 56.
  9. ^ Biberaj, pp. 97-98.
  10. ^ William Blum. Killing Hope. London: Zed Books. 2003. p. 320.
  11. ^ Biberaj, p. 95.
  12. ^ Robert Bideleux & Ian Jeffries. The Balkans: A Post-Communist History. New York: Routledge. 2007. p. 39. Vickers & Pettifer, p. 59.

External linksEdit