The Parliament of Albania (Albanian: Kuvendi i Shqipërisë) or Kuvendi is the unicameral representative body of the citizens of the Republic of Albania; it is Albania's legislature. The Parliament is composed of no less than 140 members elected to a four-year term on the basis of direct, universal, periodic and equal suffrage by secret ballot. The Parliament is presided over by the Speaker, who is assisted by at least one deputy speaker. The electoral system is based on party-list proportional representation. There are 12 multi-seat constituencies, corresponding to the country's counties.
Parliament of Albania
Kuvendi i Shqipërisë
Largest parliamentary group leader
Taulant Balla, PS
since 10 September 2021
Second largest parliamentary group leader
Supported by (3)
|Open party-list proportional representation|
|25 April 2021|
|Albanian Parliament, Dëshmorët e Kombit Boulevard, Tirana|
The Parliament's powers are defined by the Constitution of Albania. It is responsible to amend the borders of Albania or the Constitution, passes all laws, approves the cabinet, supervises the work of the government, declares war, decides on cessation of hostilities, adopts the state's budgets and approves the state's accounts. Another duties includes, calling referenda, performs elections and appointments conforming to the constitution and applicable legislation, supervises operations of the government and other civil services responsible to the parliament, grants amnesty for criminal offences and performs other duties defined by the constitution. The Parliament also elects the President of the Republic. When the Parliament is elected, the first session shall be held no later than 20 days after the completion of elections with the President as the speaker. However, all laws passed by the Parliament are published on Fletorja Zyrtare, which is the official journal of the Government of Albania.
The oldest Assembly with extant records was held in Lezhë on 2 March 1444. The League of Lezhë (Kuvendi i Lezhës) forged in Lezhë under Gjergj Kastrioti Skënderbeu as the leader against the Ottoman Empire.
Name and etymologyEdit
The word Kuvend, in definite form kuvendi, is a very old word in the Albanian language that is thought to have originated from the Latin word conventus, meaning gathering of people or assembly. Its use dates back to the fifteenth century when men, mainly from northern Albania, gathered to listen to the debate between Lekë Dukagjini and Skanderbeg on what would be allowed and what was not. These laws would then be codified into oral laws inherited from generation to generation, especially in the northern areas of Albania, from Dukagjini itself to what is called Kanuni i Lekë Dukagjinit or simply Kanuni. In the nineteenth century with the transcription of these laws by Father Shtjefën Gjeçovi, for the first time the institutional meaning of the word is given in written form where in Chapter 148, Article 1106 of the Kanun it is said:
The term in the modern history of the Albanian state was used from the very first day of its creation. On 28 November 1912, the most influential and prominent figures of Albania gathered in the so-called All-Albanian Congress held in Vlorë, where Kuvendi i Vlorës (the Assembly of Vlora) was constituted and which as the first decision declared unanimously the Independence of Albania from the Ottoman Empire. Kuvend was later reused to name the country's legislative institution after the communists took power in 1946, refusing to use words borrowed from foreign languages and previously used by other regimes or governments. Today, words such as Asambleja (the Assembly), Parlamenti (the Parliament), or the word Kuvendi itself are part of the Albanian dictionary which is published periodically by the Academy of Sciences of Albania, and have been used, and continue to be widely used interchangeably to indicate the same thing, by serving more as a synonym for each other than as a translation.
The League of Lezhë (Albanian: Lidhja e Lezhës), also commonly referred to as the Albanian League (Albanian: Lidhja Arbërore), was a military and diplomatic alliance of the Albanian aristocracy, created in the city of Lezhë on 2 March 1444. The League of Lezhë is considered as the first unified independent Albanian country in the Medieval age, with Skanderbeg as leader of the regional Albanian chieftains and nobles united against the Ottoman Empire. Skanderbeg was proclaimed "Chief of the League of the Albanian people" while Skanderbeg always signed himself as "Dominus Albaniae" (Albanian: Zot i Arbërisë, English: Lord of Albania).
At the assembly of Lezha, members from the families: Kastrioti, Arianiti, Zaharia, Muzaka, Spani, Thopia and members of the Balsha and Crnojević which were linked matrilineally or via marriage to the Kastrioti were present. The members contributed to the League with men and money, while maintaining control of the internal affairs of their domains. Soon after its creation the pro-Venetian Balšići and Crnojevići left the league in the events that led to the Albanian–Venetian War (1447-48). The peace treaty of the Albanian-Venetian war signed on October 4, 1448 is the first diplomatic document on which the league appears as an independent entity. Barleti referred to the meeting as the generalis concilium or universum concilium ("general council" or "whole council"); the term "League of Lezhë" was coined by subsequent historians.
League of Lezhë it is considered as the first type of Albanian parliament.
During the PrincipalityEdit
In 1914, with the drafting of the Organic Statute of Albania by the International Control Commission, the establishment of Asambleja Kombëtare (the National Assembly) as a legislative body was foreseen. This assembly would consist of a total of 36 members elected by the people, members appointed by the monarch Wilhelm of Albania, as well as ex officio members. The beginning of the Balkan Wars and First World War made impossible the establishment of the institution.
After the end of the First World War, between 25 and 27 of December 1918, the Congress of Durrës decided on the formation of a provisional government, as well as the establishment of the Pleqësia (the "Council of Elders"), which was essentially a Senate. This Senate would meet once every two months and the government would have to consult with it on major issues related to the fate of the state. However, due to internal divisions the Senate never convened, becoming one of the reasons for the dismissal of the Government of Durrës in January 1920.
After the dismissal of the Government of Durrës, among others, the Congress of Lushnja established the Senate as the first Albanian legislative body, which would later be named Këshilli Kombëtar (National Council). The council would consist of 37 members elected by the congressional delegates themselves and would have a temporary mandate until elections are held. In this period, the principles of parliamentarism are affirmed for the first time: the appointment and dismissal of the Government by the Council, as well as the exercise of parliamentary control over it.
The National Council met for the first time on 27 March 1920 in newly established capital, Tirana, while the first session was opened by Mytesim Këlliçi until through vote Xhemal Naipi was elected, becoming the 1st Chairman of the National Council. Although the first Albanian legislature extended its activity in a short period of time, it managed to pass some important laws. Some of the most important acts were the Lushnja Statute which constituted a constitutional law, as well as the new electoral law passed on 5 December. This law established the electoral system which was by indirect election with two rounds. In the first round, based on the administrative division according to the Districts of Albania, every 500 men would elect a delegate, who consequently in the second round will elect a total of 75 members of the National Council, thus making one member elected by about 12,000 eligible voters. Although with many problems, this law paved the way for the creation of the first two Albanian parties which were: Partia Popullore (the Popular Party) led by Fan Noli, and Partia Përparimtare (the Progressive Party) led by Hoxhë Kadriu and Shefqet Verlaci. The legislative activity of the National Council ended on 20 December 1920, when the Council was dissolved to give way to the first elections in Albania on 21 April 1921.
Republic, Kingdom, and World War IIEdit
During the period of the Albanian Republic, the country had a bicameral legislature, consisting of a Senate (Albanian: Senati) and a Chamber of Deputies (Albanian: Dhoma e Deputetëve). From 1928 to 1939, during the era of the Albanian Monarchy, Albania's legislature was known simply as the Parliament (Albanian: Parlamenti).
During the Italian occupation of Albania and the existence of the 1939-43 Albanian Kingdom, Albania's legislature was known as the Supreme Fascist Cooperative (Albanian: Korporativi i Epërm Fashist). From 1943 to 1944, during Nazi occupation of Albania and the formation of the 1943-44 Albanian Kingdom, Albania's legislature was known as the National Assembly (Albanian: Kuvendi Kombëtar). From 1944 to late 1945, a National Anti-fascist Liberation Council (Albanian: Këshilli Antifashist Nacional Çlirimtar) was formed by politicians opposing the Nazi puppet government.
Later during multiple periods of regime changes, Albania's legislature was known as the Constituent Assembly (Albanian: Asambleja Kushtetuese or Kuvendi Kushtetues). This occurred in 1924, prior to the formation of the Albanian Republic, in 1928, prior to the formation of the first iteration of the Albanian Kingdom, and from 1946 to 1947, prior during the era Democratic Government of Albania and prior to the formation of the People's Socialist Republic of Albania.
From 1947 to 1999, during the era of the People's Socialist Republic of Albania, Albania's legislature was known as the People's Assembly (Albanian: Kuvendi Popullor). Since 1997, the parliament has been known simply as the Parliament of the Republic of Albania (Albanian: Kuvendi i Republikës së Shqipërisë).[b] Currently the President is elected by the parliament. The current members were chosen in the 2021 election.
Powers, duties and responsibilitiesEdit
The Parliament's powers are defined by the Constitution of Albania. The Parliament represents the citizens of the Republic of Albania, it acts as the country's legislature. It convenes regularly in two sessions each year, the first session on the third Monday of January and the second session on the first Monday of September. However, extraordinary sessions may be called by the President of Albania, the Prime Minister of Albania or by one-fifth of the parliamentary members. Further the sessions are open to the public. The parliament decides through a majority votes, in the presence of more than half of its members, except for cases where the constitution provides for a qualified majority. However, certain decisions are made by three-fifths majority votes.
Other powers of the parliament include defining economic, legal and political relations in Albania; preservation of Albania's natural and cultural heritage and its utilisation; and forming alliances with other nations. The parliament elect the President by secret ballot and without debate by three-fifths of the parliamentary members. The president addresses messages to the Parliament and sets the date of parliamentary elections, for the organs of local power and for the conduct of referenda. The president appoints the Prime Minister on the proposal of the parliament; if the Prime Minister is not approved, the parliament elects another Prime Minister within 10 days. As specified by the Constitution, no foreign military force may be situated in, or pass through, the borders of Albania, except by a law approved by the parliament. Due to that, it has the right to deploy Albanian Armed Forces outside its borders.
The Constitution of Albania mandates that the Parliament consists of at least 140 members, elected by a secret ballot, of which 100 members are elected directly. The term of office is four years, but elections can be held earlier earlier in the relatively rare case that the Parliament is dissolved prematurely by the President. The Parliament can be dissolved by the President on the recommendation of the Prime Minister if the latter has lost a vote of confidence in the Parliament, if the recommendation is made and accepted before the Parliament acts to elect a new Prime Minister. Elections for the Parliament are held 30 to 60 days before the end of the mandate, and at most 45 days after its dissolution.
The electoral system is closed list proportional representation. There are 12 multi-member constituencies, corresponding to the 12 counties of the country. Seats are allocated using the d'Hondt method with a 2.5% electoral threshold. Within any constituency, parties must meet a threshold of 3 percent of votes, and pre-election coalitions must meet a threshold of 5 percent of votes.
The two largest political parties in Albania are the Socialist Party (PS) and the Democratic Party (PD). The last elections were held on 25 April 2021. Following is a list of political parties and alliances with representation in the Parliament by the 25 April 2021 elections:
|Socialist Party of Albania
Partia Socialiste e Shqipërisë
|PS||15 August 1991||Edi Rama||Social democracy, Third Way, Progressive, Centre-left, Western, Modernism, Social liberalism|
74 / 140
|Democratic Party of Albania & Alliance for Change
Partia Demokratike e Shqipërisë dhe Aleanca për Ndryshim
|PD & AN||19 December 1990||Vacant||Liberal conservatism, Conservatism, Nationalism, Pro-Europeanism, Centre-right, Economic liberalism|
59 / 140
|Freedom Party of Albania
Lëvizja Socialiste për Intigrim
|LSI||23 September 2004||Ilir Meta||Social democracy, Progressivism, Centre-left|
4 / 140
|Social Democratic Party of Albania
Partia Socialdemokrate e Shqipërisë
|PSD||23 April 1991||Tom Doshi||Social democracy, Centre-left|
3 / 140
Political parties divided according to post-electoral seats in the X Legislature:
|Socialist Party (PS)||74|
|Alliance for Change||Democratic Party (PD)||49|
|Republican Party (PR)||3|
|Party for Justice, Integration and Unity (PDIU)||2|
|Environmentalist Agrarian Party (PAA)||1|
|Legality Movement Party (PLL)||1|
|Movement for National Development (LZHK)||1|
|Unity for Human Rights Party (PBDNJ)||1|
|Freedom Party of Albania (PL)||4|
|Social Democratic Party (PSD)||3|
Committees of the ParliamentEdit
Parliamentary committees investigate specific matters of policy or government administration or performance that cannot be directly handled by the Parliament due to their volume. The committees provide an opportunity for organisations and individuals to participate in policy making and to have their views placed on the public record and considered as part of the decision-making process.
The Parliament has the following committees:
- Committee on Legal Affairs, Public Administration and Human Rights
- Committee on European Integration
- Committee on Foreign Policy
- Committee on Economy and Finance
- Committee on National Security
- Committee on Production Activities, Trade and Environment
- Committee on Labour, Social Affairs and Health
- Committee on Education and Public Information Media
|1st||National Council||27 March 1920||20 December 1920||37||0|
|2nd||National Council||21 April 1921||30 September 1923||65||2|
|3rd||Constitutional Assembly||21 January 1924||2 June 1924||95||2|
|4th||Deputies Chamber – Senate||1 June 1925||7 June 1928||46/16||0|
|5th||Constituent Assembly/Parliament||25 August 1928||11 May 1932||49||0|
|6th||Parliament||21 November 1932||16 November 1936||54||0|
|7th||Parliament||10 February 1937||7 April 1939||57||0|
|8th||Constitutional Assembly||12 April 1939||3 April 1940||162||1|
|9th||Superior Fascist Corporative Council||17 April 1940||31 July 1943||69||1|
|10th||National Assembly/Parliament||16 October 1943||14 September 1944||193||0|
|–||Anti-Fascist National Liberation Council||28 May 1944||22 December 1945||119||1|
|11th||Constitutional Assembly/People's Assembly||10 January 1946||21 January 1950||101||1|
|12th||People's Assembly||28 June 1950||14 April 1954||116||1|
|13th||People's Assembly||19 July 1954||21 February 1958||129||1|
|14th||People's Assembly||21 June 1958||3 June 1962||180||1|
|15th||People's Assembly||14 July 1962||12 March 1966||210||1|
|16th||People's Assembly||9 September 1966||4 May 1970||234||1|
|17th||People's Assembly||20 November 1970||19 June 1974||261||1|
|18th||People's Assembly||28 October 1974||21 February 1978||238||1|
|19th||People's Assembly||25 December 1978||14 July 1982||250||1|
|20th||People's Assembly||22 November 1982||10 January 1987||250||1|
|21st||People's Assembly||19 February 1987||13 November 1990||250||1|
|22nd||Constitutional Assembly||15 April 1991||4 February 1992||250||3|
|23rd||People's Assembly||6 April 1992||29 March 1996||130||5|
|24th||People's Assembly||1 July 1996||15 May 1997||140||5|
|25th||Assembly||23 July 1997||17 May 2001||150||13|
|26th||Assembly||3 September 2001||20 May 2005||135||12|
|27th||Assembly||2 September 2005||14 May 2009||140||12|
|28th||Assembly||7 September 2009||25 May 2013||140||6|
|29th||Assembly||9 September 2013||8 May 2017||140||6|
|30th||Assembly||9 September 2017||7 July 2021||140||5|
|31st||Assembly||10 September 2021||Incumbent||140||10|
Opening session presiding MPsEdit
|27 March 1920||Mytesim Këlliçi||(53/54)|
|21 April 1921||Pandeli Evangjeli||(62)|
|21 January 1924||Petro Poga||(63/64)|
|1 June 1925||Jorgji Çako||(76/77)|
|25 August 1928||Pandeli Evangjeli||(69)|
|21 November 1932||Petro Poga||(71/72)|
|10 February 1937||Petro Poga||(76/77)|
|12 April 1939||Xhafer Ypi||(59)|
|17 April 1940||Terenc Toçi||(60)|
|16 October 1943||Lef Nosi||(66)|
|10 January 1946||Petraq Popa||(67)|
|28 June 1950||Petraq Popa||(72)|
|19 July 1954||Aleksandër Xhuvani||(74)|
|21 June 1958||Koço Tashko||(58)|
|14 July 1962||Spiro Moisiu||(62)|
|9 September 1966||Spiro Moisiu||(66)|
|20 November 1970||Spiro Moisiu||(70)|
|28 October 1974||Zylyftar Veleshnja||(72)|
|25 December 1978||Pilo Peristeri||(69)|
|22 November 1982||Shefqet Peçi||(76)|
|19 February 1987||Spiro Koleka||(78)|
|15 April 1991||Adil Çarçani||(69)|
|6 April 1992||Pjetër Arbnori||(57)|
|1 July 1996||Sabri Godo||(67)|
|23 July 1997||Dritëro Agolli||(66)|
|3 September 2001||Servet Pëllumbi||(65)|
|2 September 2005||Lufter Xhuveli||(64)|
|7 September 2009||Fatos Beja||(61)|
|9 September 2013||Namik Dokle||(67)|
|9 September 2017||Besnik Baraj||(61)|
|10 September 2021||Luljeta Bozo||(78)|
- "Albanian opposition won't elect new leader following chairman's resignation". 23 March 2022.
- "1998 Constitution of the Republic of Albania". osce.org. p. 12.
Article 64 - 1. The Assembly consists of 140 deputies. One hundred deputies are elected directly in single member electoral zones with an approximately equal number of voters. Forty deputies are elected from multi-name lists of parties or party coalitions according to their ranking
- "1998 Constitution of the Republic of Albania". osce.org. p. 1.
Article 1 - 3.: Governance is based on a system of elections that are free, equal, general and periodic.
- "1998 Constitution of the Republic of Albania". osce.org. p. 1.
Article 2 - 1 & 2.: Sovereignty in the Republic of Albania belongs to the people.; The people exercise sovereignty through their representatives or directly.
- "1998 Constitution of the Republic of Albania". osce.org. p. Article 67.
- "CRL Foreign Official Gazette Database – Albania". apps.crl.edu. Archived from the original on 22 August 2017. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
- "Kuvendi i Lezhës (1444)". letersia.fajtori.com (in Albanian).
- Shkurtaj, Gjovalin (2004). Etnografi e të folurit të shqipes: (përmbledhje studimesh socio dhe etnolinguistike) (in Albanian). Tiranë: Shtëpia Botuese e Librit Universitar. p. 89. ISBN 978-99927-0-299-4. OCLC 123029307.
- Hasluck, Margaret (3 December 2015). The Unwritten Law in Albania. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-107-58693-2.
- Kanuni i Lekë Dukagjinit, Chapter 146 "The Men of Albanian Mountains in the Assembly" & Article 1106. sfn error: no target: CITEREFKanuni_i_Lekë_DukagjinitChapter_146_"The_Men_of_Albanian_Mountains_in_the_Assembly"Article_1106 (help)
- Zhelyazkova, Antonina (2000). "Albania and Albanian Identities". International Center for Minority Studies and Intercultural Relations. Archived from the original on 7 August 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
calling together an all-Albanian congress. On 28 November 1912, delegates from all over the country gathered in Vlora
- Langer, William Leonard; Ploetz, Karl Julius (1940). Encyclopedia of World History. Houghton Mifflin company. ISBN 0-395-65237-5. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
Proclamation of Albanian independence by an assembly at Valona which rejected the grant of autonomy made by Turkish government
- Babinger, Franz (1992). Mehmed the Conqueror and His Time. Princeton University Press. p. 54. ISBN 0-691-01078-1. Archived from the original on 18 May 2016.
... a solid military alliance was concluded among all the Albanian chieftains along the Adriatic coast from southern Epirus to the Bosnian border.
- Frazee, Charles A. (22 June 2006). Catholics and Sultans: The Church and the Ottoman Empire 1453–1923. Cambridge University Press. p. 33.
- Ednan Aslan; Ranja Ebrahim; Marcia Hermansen (2016). Islam, Religions, and Pluralism in Europe. Springer. p. 237.
- Syla, 2019 & 10. sfn error: no target: CITEREFSyla201910 (help)
- Biçoku, Kasem (2009). Kastriotët në Dardani. Prishtinë: Albanica. pp. 111–116. ISBN 978-9951-8735-4-3.
- "Statuti Organik i Shqipërisë" [Organic Statute of Albania] (PDF) (in Albanian). 10 April 1914. Chapter IV.
- Gjurmime albanologjike: Seria e shkencave historike (in Albanian). Instituti. 1985.
- Çami, Muin (1969). Lufta çlirimtare antiimperialiste e popullit shqiptar në vitet 1918-1920 (in Albanian). Universiteti Shtetëror i Tiranës, Instituti i Historisë dhe i Gjuhësisë.
- Studime historike (in Albanian). Akademia e Shkencave, Instituti i Historisë. 1990.
- Stavrianos, Leften Stavros (2000). The Balkans Since 1453. Hurst. ISBN 978-1-85065-551-0.
- Jelavich, Barbara (1983). History of the Balkans: Twentieth century. 2. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-27459-3.
- Austin, Robert C. (2012). Founding a Balkan State: Albania's Experiment with Democracy, 1920-1925. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 978-1-4426-4435-9. JSTOR 10.3138/j.ctt2tv0q6.
- "Partitë politike në Shqipëri". ShtetiWeb. 4 September 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2021.
- "Kronologji e legjislaturave në Shqipëri (Chronology of legislatures in Albania)" (in Albanian). Albanian Parliament. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
- Hysa, Ramazan (2003). Albanian-English, English-Albanian Standard Dictionary. New York, NY: Hippocrene Books. p. 184. ISBN 978-0-7818-0979-5.
- Leonard, Newmark, ed. (1999). Albanian-English Dictionary. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 431–432. ISBN 0-19-860322-3.
- "Republic of Albania Parliament". Albanian Parliament. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
- "1998 Constitution of the Republic of Albania". osce.org. p. 14.
The Assembly conducts its annual work in two sessions. The first session begins on the third Monday of January and the second session on the first Monday of September
- "1998 Constitution of the Republic of Albania". osce.org.
The Assembly meets in extraordinary session when requested by the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister or by one-fifth of all the deputies
- "1998 Constitution of the Republic of Albania". osce.org. p. 15.
Meetings of the Assembly are open.
- "1998 Constitution of the Republic of Albania". osce.org. p. 15.
There are approved by three-fifths of all members of the Assembly
- "1998 Constitution of the Republic of Albania". osce.org. p. 3.
No foreign military force may be situated in, or pass through, the Albanian territory, and no Albanian military force may be sent abroad, except by a law approved by a majority of all members of the Assembly.
- "1998 Constitution of the Republic of Albania". osce.org. p. 12.
The Assembly is elected for four years.
- "1998 Constitution of the Republic of Albania". osce.org. p. 19.
If the Assembly fails to elect a new Prime Minister, the President of the Republic dissolves the Assembly.
- "IFES Election Guide - Country Profile: Albania". electionguide.org. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
- "Part XII Allocation of Seats". The Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania (English translation by OSCE). p. 140. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
- "Komisionet". parlament.al (in Albanian).