ALBANIA
Parliamentary Chamber: Kuvendi Popullor

ELECTIONS HELD IN 1991

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Chamber:
  Kuvendi Popullor


Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  31 March 1991
7 April 1991
14 April 1991


Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats in Parliament on the normal expiry of the members’ term of office.


Background and outcome of elections:

  The 1991 general elections were the first free and multiparty ones in Albania since World War II. The polling was preceded by electoral law changes in November/December 1990 which cleared the way for multiple candidatures per constituency and the legalization of political parties. The latter development consequently ended the monopoly of the ruling communist Party of Labour of Albania (PLA).

Originally set for 10 February 1991, the election date was later postponed at the request of opposition parties headed by the Democratic Party (DP). The country’s economic ills entailing such problems as food and housing shortages or outdated factories were at the centre of the campaign debate. While both major parties acknowledged that progress would only prove possible through a market economy buttressed by massive foreign aid, they differed on the pace and scope of proposed changes, the DP advocating rapid privatisation of property and the break-up of agricultural collectives. Altogether over 1,000 candidates from 11 parties or political movements, as well as a score of independents, contested the 250 parliamentary seats.

Voting was monitored by foreign observers, who characterized the process as generally free and fair. PLA was highly successful in rural areas, whereas DP, led by Dr. Sali Berisha, topped the urban results. News of PLA’s large overall win ignited violence in various cities. Nineteen seats remained to be filled after the first round (31 March). Final results gave the PLA a two-thirds majority. A total of 226 Deputies were newcomers to Parliament.

Under the terms of the interim Constitution adopted on 29 April 1991, the people’s Assembly held an election for the new post of President of the Republic the next day. The incumbent Head of State and PLA leader Ramiz Alia was chosen. Before the elections, Mr. Alia - who in fact lost his Deputy’s seat to DP - had advocated a pluralist governing coalition regardless of the polling outcome. On 12 June, the Assembly confirmed a non-partisan caretaker Cabinet led by interim Prime Minister Ylli Bufi. This Cabinet was to remain in office until the new national elections tentatively set for mid-1992.

STATISTICS
Round no 1: Elections results  
Number of registered electors 1,984,933
Voters 1,963,568 (98.92%)

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group %
Party of Labour of Albania (PLA)* 56.17
Democratic Party (DP) 38.71
Omonia Organization 0.73
Committee of Veterans 0.28

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
Party of Labour of Albania (PLA)* 169
Democratic Party (DP) 75
Omonia Organization 5
Committee of Veterans 1

Comments:
  * Renamed the Albanian Socialist Party on 12 June 1991.

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 241
Women: 9

Distribution of seats according to age:  
18-30 years 8
31-40 years 96
41-60 years 142
Over 60 years 4


Distribution of seats according to profession:

 
Agronomists, veterinarians 62
Engineers 57
Economists 38
Teachers 37
Doctors 20
Lawyers and journalists 14
Others 22


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Copyright 1991 Inter-Parliamentary Union