Democratic Party of Albania
Published 28th June, 2013
The Democratic Party of Albania or PD was founded on 12th December 1990 and was one of the first legally recognised opposition parties after more than 40 years of Communist rule. The party describes itself as Centre-right and believes in Conservatism, Liberal conservatism, Pro-Europeanism and Economic liberalism.
In the first multi-party elections in 1991 the Democratic party did well, winning 75 of the 250 seats in the People’s Assembly and a year later, in March 1992 it went up to 92 seats in a smaller 140 seat chamber. In the second election the party became the first post second world war party to form a government which was not Communist. Its Chairman Sali Berisha was elected President of Albania in April 1992.
By late 1991 the party was already going through policy difficulties and in July 1992 a number of senior people left to form the Albanian Democratic Alliance Party.
Becoming increasingly authoritarian the party and lost an important referendum to change the constitution. A reshuffle in 1994 saw the DPs coalition partners; the Republican Party and the Social Democratic Party withdraw their support.
In the 1996 election the party won 122 of the 140 seats in the National Assembly but mass riots and the collapse of pyramid schemes led to a snap general election being called on 29th June 1997. The result was a victory for the Socialist Party of Albania and the DP was reduced to 24 seats.
After one of its MPs was shot the party boycotted the parliament for nearly two years and in 2001 it stood in an alliance called Union for Victory Coalition which went on to win 46 seats. In 2005 the party stood alone once more and won 56 seats and was able to form a coalition. They won again in 2009 with Sali Berisha as their Prime Minister and in an alliance of 18 parties called the Alliance of Change. The DP won 70 seats in total.
By 2013 the Socialist opposition led by Edi Rama was back challenging the PD and after a disastrous but largely free and fair election the DP lost, being reduced to 56 of the 140 seats as part of the Alliance for Employment, Prosperity and Integration.
The Democratic Party of Albania is a member of the Centrist Democrat International and the International Democrat Union (IDU). It is also an Observer member of the European People’s Party (EPP)