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Politics of Albania

Table of contents
1 Government
2 Legislature
3 Judicial System
4 Political Parties and Leaders
5 International Organization Participation
6 Administrative Divisions
7 Diplomatic Representation
8 Miscellaneous Data and Information
9 Reference
10 External Links


Principal Government Officials

(From the Chiefs of State and Cabinet Members of Foreign Governments as of December 31, 2002 with minor corrections'')

President and Cabinet

The head of state in
Albania is the President of the Republic. The President is elected to a 5-year term by the People's Assembly by secret ballot, requiring a two-thirds majority of the votes of all deputies. The next election is expected in 2007. The current President of the Republic is Alfred Moisiu, who has served since July 24, 2002.

The President has the power to guarantee observation of the constitution and all laws, act as commander in chief of the armed forces, exercise the duties of the People's Assembly when the Assembly is not in session, and appoint the Chairman of the Council of Ministers (Prime Minister).

Executive power rests with the Council of Ministers (cabinet). The Chairman of the Council (Prime Minister) is appointed by the President; ministers are nominated by the President on the basis of the Prime Minister's recommendation. The People's Assembly must give final approval of the composition of the Council. The Council is responsible for carrying out both foreign and domestic policies. It directs and controls the activities of the ministries and other state organs.

The Council consists of 17 ministers and nine state secretaries. The Socialist Party occupies the bulk of the cabinet positions; the Democratic Alliance, the Social Democratic Party, and the Agrarian Party each head one ministry.

Head of Government

Note: Ilir Meta quit his Foreign Minister post on July 18, 2003 after disagreements with Fatos Nano.




The Kuvendi Popullor, or People's Assembly, is the lawmaking body of the Albanian Government. There are 140 deputies in the Assembly, of which 100 are directly elected by an absolute majority of the voters, and 40 are chosen by their parties on the basis of proportional representation. The President of the Assembly (or Speaker) has two deputies and chairs the Assembly. There are 15 permanent commissions, or committees. Parliamentary elections are held at least every 4 years.

The Assembly has the power to decide the direction of domestic and foreign policy; approve or amend the constitution; declare war on another state; ratify or annul international treaties; elect the President of the Republic, the Supreme Court, and the Attorney General and his or her deputies; and control the activity of state radio and television, state news agency, and other official information media.


The Parliament that emerged from elections on June 29, 1997, was led by the Socialist Party (PS), which took 101 of the 155 seats. The Democratic Party (PD) won 27 seats. The Social Democrats (PSD) won eight seats (including the Speaker's), and the Unity for Human Rights party (PBDNJ) won four. Among the remaining seats, Balli Kombėtar (PBK) won three, the Democratic Alliance (PAD), Republican (PR), and Legality and Unity of the Right (PLL) parties won two each; the Agrarian (PAS), Christian Democrat (PDK), and National Unity Party (PUK) won one each, and independents three. Percent of vote by party - PS 53.36%, PD 25.33%, PSD 2.5%, PBDNJ 2.78%, PBK 2.36%, PAD 2.85%, PR 2.25%, PLL 3.09%, PDK 1.00%.

Results of the election of June 24, 2001: percent of vote by party - PS 41.5%, PD & coalition allies 36.8%, NDP 5.2%, PSD 3.6%, PBDNJ 2.6%, PASH 2.6%, PAD 2.5%; seats by party - PS 73, PD & coallition allies 46, NDP 6, PSD 4, PBDNJ 3, PAS 3, PAD 3, independents 2.

The next election is to be held June 2005.

Judicial System

The court system consists of a Constitutional Court, the Court of Cassation, appeals courts, and district courts. The Constitutional Court is comprised of nine members appointed by the People's Assembly for maximum 9-year terms. The Constitutional Court interprets the constitution, determines the constitutionality of laws, and resolves disagreements between local and federal authorities. The remaining courts are each divided into three jurisdictions: criminal, civil, and military. The Court of Cassation is the highest court of appeal and consists of 11 members appointed by the People's Assembly and serving 7-year terms. The President of the Republic chairs the High Council of Justice (HCJ) charged with appointing and dismissing other judges. The HCJ was expanded in late 1997 to comprise 13 members from among the various branches of government.

A college of three judges renders Albanian court verdicts; there is no jury trial, although the college is sometimes referred to in the Albanian press as the "jury."

Political Parties and Leaders

International Organization Participation


Administrative Divisions

Albania is divided into 12 prefectures. Prefects are appointed by the Council of Ministers. Each prefecture comprises several districts (Rreths), of which there are 36. Each district has its own local administration and governor. District governors are elected by the District Council, whose members are selected from party lists made public to voters before local elections, on the basis of proportional representation. City mayors are directly elected by voters, while city councils are chosen by proportional representation.

Districts (rrethe, singular - rreth) and 1 municipality* (bashki):

Note: Administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses).

See also: List of cities in Albania.

Diplomatic Representation

In the US

Chief of Mission: Ambassador Fatos Tarifa

2100 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 223-4942
FAX: [1] (202) 628-7342

From the US

Chief of Mission: Ambassador James Franklin Jeffrey

Rruga Elbasanit 103, Tirana
mailing address: American Embassy, Tirana, Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-9510
telephone: [355] (4) 247285 through 47289
FAX:[355] (4) 232222
Working Hours: Monday - Friday from 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. except on holidays [1]

Miscellaneous Data and Information

Country Name
conventional long form: Republic of Albania
conventional short form: Albania
local long form: Republika e Shqipėrisė
local short form: Shqipėria
former: People's Socialist Republic of Albania

Data code: AL

Government Type

Emerging democracy


November 28, 1912 (from the Ottoman Empire)

National Holiday
Independence Day: November 28, 1912.

A new constitution was adopted by popular referendum on November 28, 1998 (The opposition Democratic Party boycotted the vote).

Legal System
Has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

18 years of age, universal and compulsory

Judicial Branch
Supreme Court, chairman of the Supreme Court is elected by the People's Assembly for a four-year term

Flag Description
Red with a black two-headed eagle in the center (Flag of Albania)


Much of the material in this article comes from the
CIA World Factbook 2000 and the 2003 U.S. Department of State website.

External Links

Official Sites