The constitution states that Albania is a Parliamentary Republic, and its system of government is based on the principle of separation of legislative, executive and judicial powers, and the State guarantees the freedom to establish political parties, which respects democratic principles, and the law prohibits the establishment of political parties and other organizations, programs and activities based on the principle of pluralism, or that which encourages and supports racial, religious, regional or ethnic hatred, or which use violence as a means to seize power or to influence policy, as well as parties that have secret nature and guarantee freedom of expression in public life. The armed forces secure the country’s independence and maintain its territorial integrity and constitutional order, it is committed to maintaining neutrality in political matters and is under civilian control.
Parliament consists of 140 members. Representatives are elected by proportional electoral system, members of parliament are elected for four years.
The President is the head of state and represents the unity of the people, and the person to be elected President of the Republic must be a citizen of Albania, and must have resided in Albania during the last ten years, he/she should not be under the age of forty, and the president is elected for five years and may be re-elected for one term only .
The most important political parties in Albania:
- Socialist Party
The Socialist Party formed a coalition government in alliance with the Socialist Movement for Integration after winning parliamentary elections in June 2013.
Socialist Party was founded in 1991 on the wake of the Albanian labors’ Party (the former communist party). The Socialist Party is biggest force of the political left wing, an associate of the Party of European Socialists (PES), and a member of the Socialist International , the party enjoys good popularity in the southern regions of the country.
Chairman of the party: Mr. / Edi Rama.
- Democratic Party
Albanian Democratic Party was founded in December 1990, as it is the first political party that was created after allowing political pluralism in Albania, the Democratic Party is one of the political right-wing forces. It is also a member of the European People’s Party (EPP), the party enjoys good popularity in the northern and central regions of the country.
Chairman of the party: Mr. / Lulzim Basha
- Socialist Movement for Integration
Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI) is a social-democratic political party in Albania. The LSI was formed on 6 September 2004 when Ilir Meta, broke from the Socialist Party of Albania (PS), LSI is a member of the Socialist International, and this party represents the third political force in the country.
Chairman of the party: Mrs. Monika Kryemadhi.
The most important political figures in Albania
- Mr. Ilir Meta, President of the Republic. Was elected in April 2017, for a 5 year period upon proposal by the Socialist Movement for Integration and approval and votes of the MPs of the Socialist Party.
- Mr. Edi Rama, Prime Minister and head of the Socialist Party, took over the reins of the government in September 2013, after his party won the parliamentary elections of June 2013. He served also as Mayor of Tirana for eleven years in a row from 2000 till 2011.
- Mr. Gramoz Ruçi, Speaker of Parliament, a prominent figure in the Socialist Party. Prior to his election as Speaker of Parliament, he was the head of parliament group of the Socialist Party since 2009.
- Mr. Lulzim Basha, the Chairman of the Democratic Party, took over the presidency of the Democratic Party in July 2013, as the former chairman of the Democratic Party submitted his resignation from the presidency of the party after losing the parliamentary elections held in June 2013. He served also as mayor of Tirana mayor from 2011-2015.
- Mr. Erion Veliaj, the Mayor of Tirana, assumed his current position after winning the municipal elections in 2015, Mr. Erion Veliaj is one of the key young members of the socialist Party, as well he is one of the closest persons of Mr. Edi Rama, the incumbent Prime Minister. He served also as Minister of Labor and Social welfare from 2013 till 2015.
- Presidential election
The last presidential elections were held on April 28, 2017 by Parliament according to the constitution, in which Mr. Ilir Meta was elected in this position. Officially he took office as President of the Republic on July 24, 2017. The Charge d’ Affaires of the Embassy of the State of Qatar in Tirana Mr. Hashim Ibrahim Al Sada, participated in the inauguration ceremony of the new President of the Republic. The next presidential elections are scheduled to take place in 2022.
- Parliament elections
The last parliamentary elections were conducted on June 25, 2017, in which the Socialist Party gained a clear victory and secured 74 mandates in Parliament, allowing it to form the new government by itself. The next parliamentary elections are scheduled to take place in 2021.
- Municipal elections
The last municipal elections were held in 2015, was won by the left wing alliance led by the Socialist party, after defeating the right wing alliance led by Democratic Party, this last municipal elections have been conducted according to the new territorial and administrative law, adopted in 2014. The next Municipal elections are scheduled to be held in 2019 according to the law.