Albanian parliamentary election, 2001

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Parliamentary elections were held in Albania on 24 June 2001.[1] The result was a victory for the ruling Socialist Party of Albania, which won 73 of the 140 seats, resulting in Ilir Meta remaining Prime Minister. Voter turnout was 53.6%.[2]

Electoral system[edit]

The Assembly of Albania has 140 members of whom 100 are elected by plurality vote in single-member constituencies and 40 members are elected through a party-list proportional representation system.[3]

Campaign[edit]

President Rexhep Meidani announced on 18 April 2001 that the first round of the elections would be held on 24 June, with the second round on 8 July.[4] The governing Socialist Party had the aim of gaining 60% of the vote, in order to have a sufficient majority to elect a new President in 2002. They campaigned on infrastructure improvements such as communication and transport and on their record in restoring order and economic growth.[5] They were also boosted by achieving the opening of negotiations with the European Union on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement just before the election.[6]

The main opposition party, the Democratic Party of Albania led by ex-President Sali Berisha, had moderated their message after losing the 2000 local elections. They formed a coalition of right wing parties, the Union for Victory Coalition, and said that they were open to dealing with other parties if they won the election.[6] They hoped to make gains due to public concern over corruption and the continuing poverty in Albania.[5]

The campaign was generally peaceful and with no reliable opinion polls most observers expected the ruling Socialists to be re-elected with a smaller majority.[7]

Voting[edit]

First round[edit]

Both main parties initially claimed victory after the first round on the 24 June in which turnout reached about 60%. The governing Socialist party claimed that they won 45 of the 100 seats.[8] Monitors from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) described the election as having made progress towards international democratic standards.[5] However the opposition Democratic party claimed there was widespread intimidation and electoral fraud.[8] Procedural differences led to polling stations being kept closed in Lushnje leading to voting having to be delayed for about 30,000 people.[9] The results of the first round showed that the Socialists won 33 seats as against 17 won by the Democrats.[10]

Second round[edit]

A run-off vote to decide the winner in 51 districts where no candidate won over half the vote in the first round was held on 8 July. Another 40 seats were decided in proportion to the share of the vote each party won.[11]

Results[edit]

Party Votes % Seats +/-
Constituency Compensatory Total
Socialist Party of Albania 555,272 41.4 73 0 73 -28
Union for Victory Coalition 494,272 36.9 25 21 46 +21
New Democratic Party 68,181 5.1 0 6 6 New
Social Democratic Party of Albania 48,911 3.7 0 4 4 -5
Unity for Human Rights Party 34,897 2.6 0 3 3 -1
Democratic Alliance Party 34,262 2.6 0 3 3 +3
Environmentalist Agrarian Party 34,247 2.6 0 3 3 +3
Democratic Party of Albania 13,867 1.0 0 0 0
Christian Democratic Party of Albania 12,226 0.9 0 0 0 -2
Social Christian Party of Albania 9,224 0.7 0 0 0 New
Albanian Democratic Union Party 8,123 0.6 0 0 0 New
Independents 2 0 2 -11
Invalid/blank votes 49,310
Total 1,339,987 100 100 40 140 -15
Source: Nohlen & Stöver, Adam Carr

Note that the data is inconsistent and there is a difference of 22,805 between the parties' total and the number of valid votes.[2]

Aftermath[edit]

The constitutional court ruled that voting had to be repeated in eight districts on 22 July and a further two on 29 July.[12] International observers described the elections as a whole as having been free and fair.[13] However the opposition Democrats said they would not accept the results. They described the election as a farce and started a boycott of Parliament.[13] The boycott lasted for six months until January 2002 when Sali Berisha announced that his party was returning to Parliament.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p133 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ a b Nohlen & Stöver p140
  3. ^ "Election Guide". IFES. 
  4. ^ "News from Albania". Central Europe Review. 2001-04-23. Retrieved 2008-07-27. 
  5. ^ a b c "Socialists claim Albania poll victory". BBC Online. 2001-06-25. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  6. ^ a b "PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS IN ALBANIA: A MISSION POSSIBLE?!". Alternative Information Network. 2001-06-21. Retrieved 2008-07-27. 
  7. ^ "Albania goes to the polls". BBC Online. 2001-06-24. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  8. ^ a b Wood, Nicholas (2001-06-26). "Albanian opposition alleges election fraud". London: guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  9. ^ "Violence Mars Albania Vote for Parliament". The New York Times. 2001-06-25. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  10. ^ "Albania urged to accept vote result". BBC Online. 2001-07-08. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  11. ^ "Albanian opposition condemns 'ballot fixing'". BBC Online. 2001-07-08. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  12. ^ "Electoral Marathon". Transitions Online. 2001-07-23. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  13. ^ a b "Albanian opposition attacks election ' farce'". BBC Online. 2001-07-30. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  14. ^ "As Split of Albania Socialists Worsens, Prime Minister Quits". The New York Times. 2002-02-30. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 

External links[edit]