Parliamentary Chamber: Kuvendi Popullor


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  Kuvendi Popullor

Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  24 June 2001

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats in the People's Assembly on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.

Background and outcome of elections:

  President Rexhep Mejdani announced on 18 April 2001 that the first ballot of the legislative elections would be held on 24 June 2001 and the second round on 8 July 2001. Following the announcement, a number of opposition parties, the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, the National Front and the Liberal Union (comprising New Choice and New Democracy), signed an electoral agreement whereby the parties agreed to field joint candidates for the elections in a list called Union for Victory (BpF).

Close to 2.5 million voters chose between a total of 28 political parties and coalitions competing for the 40 party list mandates and 1,114 candidates running for the 100 direct mandates.

After the first round of voting, international election monitors from the OSCE and the Council of Europe approved the ballots, which they deemed largely free of violence, saying that they "marked progress toward meeting international standards for democratic elections." However, a few violent incidents took place in the north, where some gunmen broke into one polling station and burned ballot papers, and in the capital, Tirana, where two men were injured in a shooting outside a polling station. But these were insignificant incidents compared with the widespread anarchy that surrounded the previous general election, in 1997, held after the collapse of the pyramid banking schemes.

After this first round, Prime Minister Ilir Meta claimed that his Socialist Party had won the elections. However, the opposition Democrats of former President Sali Berisha also claimed victory and alleged widespread irregularities (electoral fraud by the government and intimidation of polling station officials by the police), insisting they had fared better than the government had acknowledged.

Finally, the Central Election Commission announced on 1 July 2001 that the ruling Socialist Party had won the first round of the elections. Out of 100 seats elected by direct majority vote, the Socialists won 30, while the opposition Democratic Party (PD)-led Union for Victory (BpF) won 16. A second round of voting was held on 8 July 2001 in 45 constituencies where no candidate had won more than 50 percent of votes. The Commission further announced that it would hold repeat elections in some constituencies due to irregularities.

Final results after both rounds showed that the Socialist Party had won 75 seats. The Social Democratic Party (PSD), the Agrarian Party (PA), the Democratic Alliance Party (PAD) and the Human Rights Union Party (PBDNJ), the partners in the Socialist-led coalition, won 13 seats between them. The BpF coalition gained 46 seats.

On 12 September 2001, the Parliament held its first sitting which was boycotted by the BpF. The Parliament gave a vote of confidence to the Socialist Prime Minister Ilir Meta's coalition government. It had taken almost three months after the elections for the new coalition to be formed due to repeat voting in some districts as well as disputes between the Socialist Party leader, Fatos Nano, and the Prime Minister over some individual candidates for ministers.

Round no 1 (24 June 2001): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 2 500 000
Voters 1 323 900

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Votes %
Socialist Party of Albania (PSS) 549 589 41.51
Union for Victory 487 314 36.81
Democratic Party 67 349 5.09
Social Democratic Party 48 253 3.64
Agrarian Party 33 993 2.57
Human Rights Union Party (PBDNJ) 34 607 2.61
Democratic Alliance Party (PAD) 33 781 2.55
Independents n.a. n.a.

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
Socialist Party of Albania (PSS) 73
Union for Victory 46
Democratic Party 6
Social Democratic Party 4
Agrarian Party 3
Human Rights Union Party (PBDNJ) 3
Democratic Alliance Party (PAD) 3
Independents 2

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 132
Women: 8
Percent of women: 5.71

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Copyright 2001 Inter-Parliamentary Union