Albanian monarchy referendum, 1997

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A referendum on restoring the monarchy was held in Albania on 29 June 1997 alongside parliamentary elections.[1] The proposal was rejected by 66.7% of voters,[2] although Crown Prince Leka claimed that 65.7% voted in favour.[3]


Choice Votes %
For 450,478 33.3
Against 904,359 66.7
Invalid blank votes
Total 1,354,837 100
Registered voters/turnout 2,031,342
Source: Nohlen & Stöver


The royal family House of Zogu never accepted the official result of the referendum. After the publication of the result by the Central Election Commission of Albania, during the 1997 rebellion in Albania, Leka returned again, this time being greeted by 2,000 supporters.[4] A referendum was held in Albania concerning a monarchical restoration. After a recount it was announced that the restoration was rejected by approximately two-thirds of those voting.[5] The King questioned the independence of the election. Police intervened, gunfire broke out, one person was killed, and Leka fled.

On 30 November 2011, after the death of Leka the Prime Minister of Albania, Sali Berisha said that the referendum was manipulated and that the monarchy had won. Berisha who was President at the time admitted "By 2003, the Albanian Parliament passed the law that recognized the attributes of the Royal Family and it was a right decision. Also I remind you that even the referendum was held in the context of flames of the communist rebellion and therefore cannot be considered a closed matter. The Stalinist principle of: ‘you vote, but I count the votes’ was applied in that referendum. But, the fact of the matter is the Albanians voted massively for their King, but the referendum failed to meet quotas as it was manipulated."[6]


  1. ^ Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p133 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p137
  3. ^ "Prince Leka". Albanian Royal House. 
  4. ^ "Albania: two thousand attend Tirana protest rally in support of monarchy". ATA. 1997-07-02. Retrieved 2008-07-31. 
  5. ^ Ex-king's son returns to Albania, BBC News Online, 28 June 2002.
  6. ^ Kryeministri PM Berisha offers condolences at Leka Zogu I passing away, Keshilli i Ministrave 2011-11-30