Democratic Party of Albania

The Democratic Party of Albania (Albanian: Partia Demokratike e Shqipërisë, PD or PDSH) is a conservative, center-right to right-wing[3][4][5] political party in Albania. Rilindja Demokratike is the party's official newspaper.[8] Since 2013, they have been the official and largest opposition party in the country, with Lulzim Basha as party chairman. Its youth organisation, FRPD, is one of the founders of the Youth of the European People's Party (YEPP).

Democratic Party of Albania
Partia Demokratike e Shqipërisë
ChairmanLulzim Basha
Leader of the Parliamentary GroupEdmond Spaho
General SecretaryGazment Bardhi
FounderAleksandër Meksi
Founded12 December 1990[1]
HeadquartersBulevardi Zhan D'Ark 11, 1001 Tirana, Albania
NewspaperRilindja Demokratike
Student wingGrupimi Rinor Universitar Demokrat
Youth wingForumi Rinor i Partise Demokratike
Membership (2019)75.000[2]
Political positionCentre-right[6]
European affiliationEuropean People's Party (associate)[7]
International affiliationCentrist Democrat International
International Democrat Union
SloganShqipëria si Europa! (Albania like Europe!)
National Assembly
59 / 140
1 / 61
[Boycotted Municipal Elections on 30 June 2019]


The Foundation of the PartyEdit

The Democratic Party founded on 12 December 1990 by Avdyl Matoshi, Azem Hajdari, Sali Berisha and Gramoz Pashko major involvement, and [9] Arben Imami, Edmond Budina, Eduart Selami, Genc Ruli, Merita Zaloshnja, Aleksandër Meksi involved only in the early stages of the formation of the party and with minor contributions, is the first opposition party in Albania after more than 45 years of communist government ruthless rule.[10][11][12]

31 March 1991 First Pluralist ElectionsEdit

22 March 1992 Second Pluralist Parliamentary Presidential ElectionsEdit

The Democratic Party of Albania won the parliamentary elections of 22 March 1992,[13] the second free and fair elections after many decades of mandatory and single communist party candidate elections. Sali Berisha it's leader was elected as the second President of Albania, which at the time had executive powers, and Aleksandër Meksi as Prime Minister.[14][15] Sali Berisha with significant contribution in the formation of the party, and Aleksandër Meksi with minor contribution. The second pluralist government of Albania governed by the Democratic Party and its leader was tasked with executing reforms to turn the country from a communist style everything in the hands of the government rule into a democratic country based in free markets, property rights, individual rights, and without interference of the government in the private lives of its citizens.[16][17] That task was significantly challenged after two or three years of its government due to the inexperience and lack of knowledge of how the financial markets function. As a result many Ponzi-Schemes developed and the savings of hundreds and thousands of people were lost due to investments in these schemes.[citation needed] It had a very negative impact on how people view financials markets, and the confidence in the democratic norms and financial systems eroded which lead the Democratic Party of Albania to be viewed negatively and create stereotypes that do not actually represent the party. These perceptions still exist.[18]

26 May 1996 Presidential ElectionsEdit

Four years after the second free and fair elections, new free and fair election in respect to the new Constitution of Albania adopted in 1991, conform other democratic western and European countries were due. The elections were held on 26 May 1996.[19][20] The main and well known political leaders of the party that governed the Republic of Albania for more than 45 years, under a ruthless regime, were no longer a major participant in the election. However, the party itself and its new and less known leaders at the time of the former Labor Party, the main political party during the communist regime, the same party that governed Albania under a ruthless dictatorship, essentially the party that represented the communists during the regime was reformed, changed its platform conform to other parties that held the same believes, mainly left-wing philosophies, conform democratic standards, and its name to the Socialist Party of Albania. It was the only serious opponent and challenger to the Democratic Party of Albania in 26 May 1996 presidential elections.[20] The Albanian Presidential Elections of 26 May 1996 were found to be a positive development in regards to advancing the reforms to fully conform to elections of fully established democracies[verification needed]. Despite the election being considered as a positive development by OSCE election report there were plenty of other areas where it needed more work in holding elections conform other democratic countries[verification needed].[21] The Democratic Party of Albania and its allies were able to win more than 71 seats in the parliament, on the Presidential Election of 26 May 1996, enough to form the majority and stay in government.[22] Sali Berisha and Aleksandër Meksi respectively remained President and Prime Minister of the Republic of Albania, until new parliamentary election were called due to the Ponzi-Schemes crisis, held on 29 June 1997.[22]

29 June 1997 Parliamentary ElectionsEdit

The Ponzi-Schemes lead to civil unrest that culminated in early spring of 1997. The crisis was deeply severe. The government lead by the Democratic Party of Albania and its leader due to civil unrest was not able to function properly in many parts of the country, especially in the south of Albania.[18] The fact that these Ponzi-Schemes were endorsed by the government (lead by the Democratic Party of Albania) or suggested people to invest in these schemes and the majority of the people who invested in these Ponzi-Schemes blamed the Democratic Party's government for the failure of the Ponzi-Schemes. As a result of this crisis and internal civil unrest new parliamentary election were called on 29 June 1997 to sooth the situation.[18][23][24] As a result of these elections the Democratic Party of Albania lost its elections to its opposition party, Socialist Party of Albania.[25][26]

A little more than a year after the Socialist Party of Albania took control of the government on 12 September 1998 Azem Hajdari one of the founding members of the Democratic Party of Albania and a very important political figure within the party was assassinated. His assassination lead to further unrest in Albania.[27] The Democratic Party of Albania was in opposition and its leader including the former President of Albania, who was in the leadership of the party Sali Berisha accused the government of the Socialist Party of Albania as the perpetrator of the assassination of Azem Hajdari.[28]

24 June 2001 Parliamentary ElectionsEdit

On 24 June 2001 the next parliamentary elections on the due date as provided by the constitution were held. These elections were also lost by the Democratic Party of Albania although not as deeply as the previous elections. The Democratic Party alleged irregularities and did not accept the result of the elections.[29] ODHIR and OSCE which were involved in monitoring the elections and as an independent party declared on their final report that the elections were marked by irregularities and that repeated voting in some electoral zones increased the violations and irregularities of the election. To what extent these irregularities and violations helped the Socialist Party of Albania win in such a wide range was not determined or conclusive in the election report.[30]

3 July 2005 Parliamentary ElectionsEdit

In the 2005 parliamentary elections, the Democratic Party won 56 of the 140 seats and its allies won 18 under the call Time to Change (Koha per Ndryshim). Two other parties also joined the new coalition (PAA of the left wing & PBDNJ of the Greek minority, with 4 and 2 seats, respectively). This meant that with a combined total of 79 seats, the Democratic Party and its allies were able to form a government with Sali Berisha becoming Prime Minister. One of his priorities was Albanian integration to NATO, an objective he accomplished in 2009 when Albania and Croatia were accepted as members. The biggest tragedy after Albanian Civil War happened in Saturday 15 March 2008 which is known as 2008 Gërdec explosions . Officially, Albanian authorities confirmed 26 deaths in the explosions. Officials report the number of injured people at over 300. According to figures published by the Prime Minister's Office, 2,306 buildings were damaged or destroyed in the explosions. Of these, 318 houses were destroyed completely, 200 buildings were seriously damaged, and 188 buildings were less seriously damaged.[31][32]

28 June 2009 Parliamentary ElectionsEdit

23 June 2013 Parliamentary ElectionsEdit

After the defeat in the 2013 parliamentary election, Berisha announced his resignation as party leader. A one-member-one-vote election was held for the first time on 23 July 2013, in which Lulzim Basha defeated his opponent Sokol Olldashi and was elected Chairman of the Democratic Party.[33][34]

On 30 September 2014, a national congress of the Democratic Party was held to elect a new leadership and to announce a tough reform of the party.[35][citation needed]

On the 26th anniversary of the Democratic Party, party leader Basha announced his program for the further modernization and democratisation of the party ahead of the 2017 parliamentary elections.

After previously promising that 35% of the parliamentary candidates would consist of members from the youth movement of the Party, Basha now announced a limitations of all mandates of the party leaders to a two-year term, and the full democratisation of the internal election process.[36]

On 18 February 2017 members of the Democratic Party and other opposition parties, under the leadership of Basha pitched a giant tent outside the Prime Minister's office in Tirana after thousands of protesters rallied to demand free elections and a technocrat government. The opposition protest further escalated into a larger political conflict. The Democratic Party and its allies refused to register to take part in the 18 June general election, until the government will accept their conditions to secure a free and democratic election.[37][38]


The party's headquarters are located in Tirana, capital city of Albania[39] not too far away from the Albanian Parliament, approximately 50 meters (55 yards) away. The newspaper Rilindja Demokratike, Democratic Party's main news paper is located at the same headquarters building.

Election resultsEdit

Election Votes % Seats +/– Government
1991 720,948 38.7 (#2)
75 / 250
  75 Coalition
1992 1,046,193 57.3 (#1)
92 / 140
  17 Coalition
1996 914,218 55.2 (#1)
122 / 140
  30 Coalition
1997 315,677 24.1 (#2)
40 / 155
  93 Opposition
2001 494,272 36.9 (#2)
46 / 140
  24 Opposition
2005 602,066 44.2 (#1)
56 / 140
  10 Coalition
2009 610,463 40.2 (#2)
68 / 140
  12 Coalition
2013 528,373 30.6 (#2)
50 / 140
  18 Opposition
2017 427,778 28.8 (#2)
43 / 140
  7 Opposition
2021 622,234 39.4 (#2)
59 / 140
  13 Opposition

Party leadersEdit

Person Period
Sali Berisha 1991 – 1992
Eduart Selami 1992 – 1995
Tritan Shehu (acting) 1995
Tritan Shehu 1995 – 1997
Genc Pollo (interim) 1997
Sali Berisha 1997 – 2013
Lulzim Basha 2013 –

National electionsEdit

2009 Parliamentary ElectionsEdit

After the Albanian parliament elections of 2009 the Democrats won 67 MPs. The list of the elected deputies:[40][41][verification needed]

2013 Parliamentary ElectionsEdit

After the Albanian parliament elections of 2013 the Democrats won 45 MPs. The list of the elected deputies:[citation needed]

2017 Parliamentary ElectionsEdit

In the general elections of 2017 DP won 43 out of 140 seats in parliament coming second after only SP and being the main largest opposition party of Albania.[citation needed]

En Bloc Leaving of the ParliamentEdit

On May 2019 the MPs of DP (Democratic Party of Albania) one of the opposition parties of the Albanian Parliament at the time, after the party's leadership decision, left their MP seats in response to 2017 parliamentary election irregularities allegations, fueled by news in some international news organizations.[42] 17 other DP deputies replaced the resigned MPs but the replaced MP were not aligned with the goals of Lulzim Basha (Chairman of the DP). The DP Chairman and some other important political figures within the party considered it "inappropriate to participate in a parliament where the majority of the parliament was formed by the altered will of the Albanian voters, and it is taking no action in improving the worsening economic conditions of the country, fight corruption, and enforce the laws". Protests across the country, but mainly in the capital city of Albania, Tirana, were organized by DP, in response to the circulating news of international medias and after leaving the parliament.[43]


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  31. ^ "The Gerdec explosions trial ends with 19 convictions". Retrieved 7 June 2021.
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  33. ^ "Basha Elected Head of Albania's Democrats :: Balkan Insight". Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  34. ^ Times, Tirana (26 July 2013). "Basha elected new Democratic Party leader". Tirana Times. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
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  36. ^ "Basha Announces Thorough Reform of PD - Exit". Exit. 11 December 2016. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
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  38. ^ "Albania Opposition Parties to Boycott June Elections :: Balkan Insight". Retrieved 25 June 2017.
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External linksEdit