Albania 2009

Albania held a legislative election for its 140 legislature on June 28. The current government is led by Prime Minister Sali Berisha of the right-wing Democratic Party (PD). The Socialist Party (PS), which used to be Albania’s sole legal party under communist madman Enver Hoxha, is in opposition. After massively disproportionate results last time, due to massive tactical voting, the voting system has been changed from MMP (100 FPTP, 40 PR) to proportional representation using Albanian counties as constituencies. There is a 3% threshold for parties and a 5% threshold for coalitions.

While Berisha was a total incompetent as President, presiding over massive corruption, electoral fraud and a Ponzi scheme; he has had a decent term with good economic growth and stable foreign relations. He has gathered a coalition including his PD, and the smaller Republican Party (PR, nationalist) and the Party for Justice Integration (PDI), a Cham minority party. Opposed to this coalition (known as Alliance for Changes) is the Unification for Changes around the PS and the Greek minority party (Unity for Human Rights Party, PBDNJ). There are two smaller coalitions, the Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI) and the Christian Democratic Party (Albania, however, is majority Muslim with a sizable Catholic and Greek Orthodox minority).

The election is probably the first real free and fair election and the first one where voters have a real choice (because the government hasn’t been a complete and utter failure, like all governments have in the past).

Alliance for Changes 46.83% winning 70 seats (PD 39.99% and 68 seats, PR 2.1% and 1 seat, PDI 0.95% and 1 seat)
Unification for Changes 45.39% winning 66 seats (PS 40.85% and 65 seats, PBDNJ 1.18% and 1 seat)
Socialist Movement for Integration 5.56% winning 4 seats
Christian Democrats 1.82%

The PD has claimed victory, but it only has exactly half the seats, so it’s position is uncertain. The PS coalition has fewer seats, but with probable support from the LSI, it ties with the PD. Who knows how this will end up, but it certainly isn’t good for Albania’s political and economic stability. We might see an election in the next few months.

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Posted on July 3, 2009, in Albania. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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