Parliament of Albania

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Parliament of Albania
Kuvendi i Shqipërisë
Legislature XIX (Legislature VIII)[1]
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type Unicameral
Structure
Seats 140
Current Structure of the Assembly of the Republic of Albania
Political groups      ASHE (85)
     APMI (55)
Elections
Voting system Closed list proportional representation
Last election 23 June 2013
Website
www.parlament.al
Footnotes
For current list of members see list of members.
Coat of arms of Albania.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Albania

The Parliament of Albania (Albanian: Kuvendi i Shqipërisë or short Kuvendi or Parlamenti), formerly the People's Parliament (Albanian: Kuvendi Popullor) is the unicameral parliament of the Republic of Albania. It has 140 members, elected for four-year terms. The electoral system is closed list proportional representation. There are 12 multi-member constituencies, corresponding to the country's 12 administrative regions. Within any constituency, parties must meet a threshold of three percent of votes; pre-election coalitions must meet a threshold of five percent. All laws passed by the parliament are published by the Albanian Official Journal (Albanian: Fletorja Zyrtare), the official journal of the government of Albania.[2]

Background[edit]

The legislative system in Albania has a relatively short history, and is closely related to the history of the state. During this period, it has evolved under different regimes.

Parties represented in the Parliament of Albania[edit]

Name Abbr. Ideology Leader MPs
Socialist Party of Albania
Partia Socialiste e Shqipërisë
PS Social democracy Edi Rama 65
Democratic Party of Albania
Partia Demokratike e Shqipërisë
PD Conservatism, Liberal conservatism Lulzim Basha[3] 50
Socialist Movement for Integration
Lëvizja Socialiste për Intigrim
LSI Social democracy Ilir Meta 16
Party for Justice, Integration and Unity
Partia për Drejtësi, Integrim dhe Unitet
PDIU Advocacy of national issues of Albania Shpëtim Idrizi 4
Republican Party of Albania
Partia Republikane e Shqipërisë
PR National conservatism Fatmir Mediu 3
Unity for Human Rights Party
Partia Bashkimi për të Drejtat e Njeriut,
PBDNJ Greek minority politics, centrism, liberalism Vangjel Dule 1
Christian Democratic Party
Para Kristian Demokratike e Shqipërisë
PKDSH Christian democratic Mark Frroku 1

History[edit]

Large square building, lit up at night
Administrative building

The parliamentary institutions in Albania have their beginnings in the late-1912 Albanian Independence from the Ottoman Empire. The National Assembly of Vlora, created during All-Albanian Congress on 28 November 1912, served as the Albanian legislative body for two years, until the 1914 statute.

Principality of Albania (1914)[edit]

After gradually assuming the administration of the country in 1914, the International Commission of Control prepared a draft of the constitution (Albanian: Statuti Organik) with 216 articles. It would provide establishment of the National Assembly with power of legislation in Albania which was designed as hereditary constitutional monarchy.[4]

According to the constitution, the country would have, with few exceptions, the same administrative organization as during the Ottoman Empire suzerainty.[5] It would be partitioned on seven administrative districts, each of them would choose three representatives for national assembly by direct suffrage. The Prince would nominee ten representatives and heads of the all three religions (Islam, Orthodox and Catholic) would be also representatives in the national assembly, which would have four year term. The Council of Ministres, with executive powers, would be appointed by the prince.[6]

1920 creation of the Senate[edit]

The Lushnja Congress created the Senate (the first Albanian Parliament, later the National Council) as the legislative body, which consisted of 37 members elected by delegates to the Congress. The Congress expressed, in the form of organized political will of shqiptarëvge, to take the country's destiny into its own hands. During this period, for the first time was affirmed the principles of parliamentarianism: the appointment and dismissal of the government by the Senate, and the exercise of parliamentary control. Although the first Albanian parliament carried out its legislative activities over a short period of time, it passed several important laws. The most important act was the Statute of Lushnja, which established constitutional law. The legislative activity of the National Council ended in December 1920, when the Council was dissolved to prepare the country for its first election in March 1921.

1922 Statute of Lushnja extension[edit]

By-elections were held in March 1921, and the country was represented by 78 deputies. At this time Parliament began to meet regularly as a body, with clearly defined tasks and a timetable. In 1922 the Statute of Lushnja was expanded into a constitution with the highest power given to the state and a legitimate parliament. The former National Council was renamed the Parliament. The legislative body consisted of a chamber of deputies, indirectly elected by the people. During this period, two political groups emerged: the People's Party (led by Fan Noli) and the Progressive Party (led by Hoxha Kadriu). In the legislative field, the activity of the National Council focused on such matters drafting the law on judicial organization, amending existing regulation with new elements for the transparency of parliamentary activity and crafting the oath of deputies to the Council. In September 1923 the National Council closed its proceedings at the conclusion of the legislature to prepare the country for new elections to the Constitutional Assembly, held in December of that year.

1924–1925 Constitutional Assembly[edit]

The Constitutional Assembly, consisting of 100 deputies, convened over two periods (21 January – 2 June 1924 and December 1924 – 2 March 1925). Its main task was the drafting of a written constitution. That objective was not achieved during the first period of activity due to the assassination attempt on Prime Minister Ahmet Zog by Avni Rustemi. On 2 June 1924 the Assembly closed the first session of proceedings. After the dissolution of the government Zog left Albania, remaining underground until December 1924. During this period, the short-lived (June–December 1924) government of Fan Noli gained power. With the return to power of Ahmet Zog (marking the resumption of the rule of law), the Constitutional Assembly resumed work. It finally accomplished the task for which it was created: adoption of the basic statutes of the state, which would determine its future.

1925–1928 Albanian Republic[edit]

Albania's form of government was defined as a parliamentary republic, headed by a president whose sovereignty was derived from the people. By decree of the Constitutional Assembly, Ahmet Zog was elected head of state. For the only time in Albania's history, its parliament consisted of two chambers: the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. The Chamber of Deputies (the lower house) consisted of 57 deputies elected by the people, and the Senate (the upper house) consisted of 18 senators (two-thirds of whom were elected by the people and one-third chosen by the President of the Republic). This bicameral system gave priority in certain cases to the Senate, putting the Chamber of Deputies in a position of inferiority. When Parliament's two chambers met in joint session, it was known as the Legislative Assembly and separately noted as such in statutes. During this time Parliament adopted a series of important laws, including national-bank and civil-pension laws. There was a lack of pluralism, due to the lack of representation in the electoral system. A lack of political parties characterized the rule of Ahmet Zog as President of the Republic, and then as King of the Albanians. A redistribution of Parliament came after a debate to change the form of government, preparing the country for new elections to the Constituent Assembly.

Albanian kingdom (1928–1939)[edit]

The Constitutional Assembly emerged from the elections of 17 August 1928 with 58 members, a statute-sanctioned monarchical form of government and a unicameral parliamentary system. Albania proclaimed itself a "democratic, parliamentary, and hereditary kingdom" headed by "His Majesty Zog I". Before its conclusion on 1 December 1928, the Constitutional Assembly adopted a civil, commercial and penal code and a code of civil procedures, which marked the drastic break from the legislation of the Ottoman period. For this reason, this parliament was called by Zog I the "constructive" and "reformist parliament."

After the Italian invasion of Albania in April 1937, King Zog I fled the country. The King of Italy, Victor Emmanuel III, was offered the crown of Albania.

Parliament during the war[edit]

Front of light-colored building with trees, flags and black-on-red Albanian crest
Albanian National Assembly, Tirana

Under the statute of the Albanian kingdom charter awarded by King Victor Emmanuel III, the Albanian state was a constitutional monarchy. Legislative power was exercised by the king, in cooperation with the Fascist Party. On 16 October 1943 (during the Nazi invasion) the National Assembly convened with 247 members, who restored the creation of the High Council as head of state. It returned to parliament, exercising legislative power with this body. This period is characterized by the denial of the principles of parliamentarianism.

Postwar parliament[edit]

Elections for the Constituent Assembly after the war were held on 2 December 1945. For the first time, women were allowed to vote. The constitution was adopted on 14 March 1946, when the Constitutional Assembly became the National Assembly. In the absence of domestic political pluralism, the National Assembly met only twice a year. In 1976 Parliament adopted the Constitution of the People's Socialist Republic of Albania, which preserved features of an ideological political program in accord with the ideology of the time. Parliament's role remained weak, since free elections were not held.

1991 rebirth of parliamentarianism[edit]

After more than five decades, the first signs of revival of parliamentarianism appeared in Albania. After 67 years, the first pluralistic parliament emerged from the elections of 31 March 1991 with 250 members. Constitutional provisions adopted that year brought changes in the framework of the democratic organization of the state. It was gradually supplemented by a number of other constitutional laws and by the adoption of a comprehensive new constitution. On 21 October 1998 Parliament adopted a new constitution, drafted with the help of international organizations. The new constitution created the opportunity to better understand the political system in Albania and the role of its participants. The People's Assembly of Albania was unicameral, with 140 members. After the implementation of the Constitution Parliament, as the highest legislative power, was responsible for drafting and approving laws. The role of the Assembly has increased significantly in creating a constitutional and legal framework as the premise for the rule of law, and it has become the most important institution of political development in the country. Legislative activity has become one of the most active instruments in the consolidation of state institutions and Euro-Atlantic integration.

Currently the President is elected by the parliament. The current members were chosen in 2009.

Constituencies[edit]

County Members
Berat 8
Dibër 6
Durrës 13
Elbasan 14
Fier 16
Gjirokastër 5
Korçë 12
Kukës 4
Lezhë 7
Shkodër 11
Tirana 32
Vlorë 12

Renovation[edit]

Since the end of the 2010 parliamentary season, the parliament has been renovated.[citation needed]

Committees[edit]

The Albanian parliament has the following 10 committees:[7]

List of Chairmen of the Parliament of Albania[edit]

Members (since 1990)[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ According the new ranking, legislatures are calculated from the first democratic parliament.
  2. ^ Website of the Albanian Official Journal
  3. ^ http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Albanias+Democratic+Party+elects+Lulzim+Basha+leader/8695428/story.html
  4. ^ Jelavich, Barbara (1999) [1983], "The end of Ottoman rule in Europe", History of the Balkans: Twentieth century 2, Cambridge, United Kingdom: The Press Syndicate of University of Cambridge, p. 101, ISBN 0-521-27459-1, retrieved 21 January 2011, "International Commission prepared a draft constitution. It provided for the establishment of national assembly,...composed of three representatives from...seven administrative districts... chosen by direct suffrage,... heads of three churches and ten nominees of the prince. .... a four year... ministers ..appointed by the prince" 
  5. ^ Zaharia, Perikli (24 March 2003). "The Post – 1989 Constitutional Course of South East Europe". Athens: Centre for European Constitutional Law. Archived from the original on 22 January 2011. Retrieved 22 January 2011. "The Ottoman administrative organization, with few exceptions, remained basically unchanged." 
  6. ^ Zaharia, Perikli (24 March 2003). "The Post – 1989 Constitutional Course of South East Europe". Athens: Centre for European Constitutional Law. Archived from the original on 22 January 2011. Retrieved 22 January 2011. "A Constitution (Statuti Organik) for the new State, consisting of 216 articles, was elaborated in 1914 by the International Commission. Albania was designated as a hereditary constitutional monarchy. The power of legislation was entrusted to a National Assembly, while the executive power was vested in the Council of Ministers, who were to be appointed by the Prince and accountable to him only." 
  7. ^ http://www.parlament.al/web/Komisionet_e_Posacme_10031_1.php

Coordinates: 41°19′34″N 19°49′23″E / 41.32611°N 19.82306°E / 41.32611; 19.82306