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Albania

Albanian Government Stats

Profile:

Edi Rama became prime minister in September 2013, three months after elections in which his Socialist Party won a landslide victory that brought to an end eight years of conservative rule.

Mr Rama's main campaign pledges were to revive Albania's ailing economy, combat widespread corruption and crime, and speed up the country's integration into the European Union.

The election was closely monitored by the EU, which has twice rejected Albania's membership application and warned that the poll would be "a crucial test" for its further progress towards integration in the bloc.

The outcome of the previous election, which returned the centre-right Democratic Party to power in 2009 by an extremely slender margin, was hotly disputed by the Socialists, who refused to recognise the result and launched a campaign of mass protests and civil disobedience in support of demands for a recount.

Mr Rama became the leader of the Socialists in 2005 and spearheaded the party's challenging of the 2009 election outcome. The dispute over the result appeared at times to be bringing the country to the edge of civil conflict, and became a significant obstacle to Albania's EU integration.

His predecessor as prime minister, Sali Berisha, dominated the country's political scene for more than 20 years, but by 2013 the electorate appeared to have become tired of the lack of economic progress under Mr Berisha and his perceived failure to tackle organised crime.

Edi Rama is a painter-turned-politician who studied at the School of Fine Arts in Paris and during the 1990s made his home in the French capital.

On his return to Albania, he became minister of culture in the Socialist government of Fatos Nano in 1998.

In 2000, he was elected mayor of Tirana - a position he held until 2011. As mayor, he set out to remake the impoverished capital into a lively modern city, and embarked on a number of controversial projects, one of which was to order the painting of many old buildings in what became known as Edi Rama colours - bright pink, yellow, green and violet.

Mr Rama's critics claimed that he devoted too much attention to cosmetic changes and failed to get to grips with major problems such as the unreliability of basic services in Tirana.

As prime minister, he faces many tough challenges. His pledge to improve living standards - in a country where many people depend heavily on financial aid from the large Albanian diaspora in Western Europe and the United States - will be especially difficult to realise.

A fluent speaker of English, French and Italian, Mr Rama is described by observers as a dynamic man with a strong personality.

The new cabinet that he presented to parliament at the beginning of his tenure consists of mostly youthful political newcomers and includes six women - an unprecedented step in Albania.

Definitions

  • Administrative divisions: This entry generally gives the numbers, designatory terms, and first-order administrative divisions as approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (BGN). Changes that have been reported but not yet acted on by BGN are noted.
  • Capital city > Geographic coordinates: This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
  • Constitution: The dates of adoption, revisions, and major amendments to a nation's constitution
  • Diplomatic representation from the US > Mailing address: This entry includes the chief of mission, embassy address, mailing address, telephone number, FAX number, branch office locations, consulate general locations, and consulate locations.
  • Executive branch > Cabinet: Cabinet includes the official name for any body of high-ranking advisers roughly comparable to a U.S. Cabinet. Also notes the method for selection of members.
  • Government corruption rating: Transparency, accountability, and corruption in the public sector assess the extent to which the executive can be held accountable for its use of funds and for the results of its actions by the electorate and by the legislature and judiciary, and the extent to which public employees within the executive are required to account for administrative decisions, use of resources, and results obtained. The three main dimensions assessed here are the accountability of the executive to oversight institutions and of public employees for their performance, access of civil society to information on public affairs, and state capture by narrow vested interests."
  • Government type: A description of the basic form of government (e.g., republic, constitutional monarchy, federal republic, parliamentary democracy, military dictatorship).
  • Independence: For most countries, this entry gives the date that sovereignty was achieved and from which nation, empire, or trusteeship. For the other countries, the date given may not represent "independence" in the strict sense, but rather some significant nationhood event such as the traditional founding date or the date of unification, federation, confederation, establishment, fundamental change in the form of government, or state succession. Dependent areas include the notation "none" followed by the nature of their dependency status. "
  • International organization participation: This entry lists in alphabetical order by abbreviation those international organizations in which the subject country is a member or participates in some other way.
  • Judicial branch: The name(s) of the highest court(s) and a brief description of the selection process for members.
  • Legal system: A brief description of the legal system's historical roots, role in government, and acceptance of International Court of Justice (ICJ) jurisdiction.
  • Legislative branch: This entry contains information on the structure (unicameral, bicameral, tricameral), formal name, number of seats, and term of office. Elections includes the nature of election process or accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next election. Election results includes the percent of vote and/or number of seats held by each party in the last election.
  • Political parties and leaders: Significant political organizations and their leaders.
  • Political pressure groups and leaders: Organizations with leaders involved in politics, but not standing for legislative election.
  • Suffrage: The age at enfranchisement and whether the right to vote is universal or restricted
STAT AMOUNT DATE RANK HISTORY
Administrative divisions 12 counties (qarqe, singular - qark); Berat, Diber, Durres, Elbasan, Fier, Gjirokaster, Korce, Kukes, Lezhe, Shkoder, Tirane, Vlore 2013
Capital city > Geographic coordinates 41 2011
Constitution several previous; latest approved by parliament 21 October 1998, adopted by popular referendum 22 November 1998, promulgated 28 November 1998; amended 2008, 2012 2012
Diplomatic representation from the US > Mailing address US Department of State, 9510 Tirana Place, Dulles, VA 20189-9510 2013
Executive branch > Cabinet Council of Ministers proposed by the prime minister, nominated by the president, and approved by parliament 2013
Government corruption rating 2.5 2006 45th out of 76
Government type parliamentary democracy 2013
Independence 28 November 1912 (from the Ottoman Empire) 2013
International organization participation BSEC, CD, CE, CEI, EAPC, EBRD, EITI (candidate country), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NATO, OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, SELEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO 2013
Judicial branch Constitutional Court consists of 9 members appointed by the president with the consent of the Assembly who serve 9-year terms (chairman is elected by the People's Assembly for a four-year term); the High Court members appointed by the president with the consent of the Assembly for a 9-year term 2012
Legal system civil law system except in the northern rural areas where customary law known as the "Code of Leke" prevails 2013
Legislative branch unicameral Assembly or Kuvendi 2011
Political parties and leaders Alliance for Employment, Prosperity, and Integration or APMI (coalition of 25 centrist and center-right parties) [Sali BERISHA]:
Democratic Party or PD [Sali BERISHA]
New Democracy Party or PDR [Genc POLLO]
Party for Justice, Integration and Unity or PDIU [Shpetim IDRIZI]
Republican Party or PR [Fatmir MEDIU]

Alliance for a European Albania or ASHE (coalition of 37 opposition parties from far left to right wing) [Edi RAMA]:
Social Democracy Party or PDS [Paskel MILO]
Social Democratic Party or PSD [Skender GJINUSHI]
Socialist Movement for Integration or LSI [Ilir META]
Socialist Party or PS [Edi RAMA]
Unity for Human Rights Party or PBDNJ [Vangjel DULE]

other parties:
New Democratic Spirit or FRD [Bamir TOPI]
2013
Political pressure groups and leaders Red and Black Alliance [Kreshnik SPAHIU]
Front for Albanian National Unification or FBKSH [Gafur ADILI]
Mjaft Movement [Elton KACIDHJA]
Omonia [Vasil BOLLANO]
Union of Independent Trade Unions of Albania or BSPSH [Gezim KALAJA]
2013
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal 2013

SOURCES: CIA World Factbooks 18 December 2003 to 28 March 2011; World Bank Group, CPIA database (http://www.worldbank.org/ida).

Citation

"Albania Government Stats", NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Albania/Government