Socialist Party of Albania
Published 28th June, 2013
The Socialist Party of Albania or SP is the successor party of the Albanian Labour Party (ALP) which itself succeeded the Albanian Communist Party (ACP) led by Enver Hoxha until his death in 1985. With the collapse of communism across Europe in the late 1980s the ALP was dissolved in 1991 and became the Socialist Party of Albania in the June at the former party’s 10th Congress.
The SP positions itself today as Centre-left and believes in Social democracy.
In the 1991 general election the Socialist Party did remarkably well, taking 169 of the 250 seats in the People’s Assembly. It was only a temporary reprieve and when fresh elections were held in 1992 the party was reduced to 38 seats in the new 140 seat chamber.
The party fared even worse in 1996, being reduced to just 10 seats partly because it boycotted the second round and partly because a number of its candidates were barred from standing. But in 1997 the governing Democratic Party had become very autocratic and was suffering from internal policy issues as well as riots in the streets and the collapse of so called pyramid schemes. The result was a major victory for the SP who took 101 of the 155 seats in the National Assembly.
The party did well again in the October 2000 local elections and in 2001 they won 73 of the 140 seats in the National Assembly to secure a second term in office. Internal warfare took place over a leadership contest in 2003 and a number of MPs left to form the Socialist Movement for Integration.
In the 2005 general election the party did badly and dropped to 42 seats and its long-time leader, Fatos Nano resigned as Chairman of the party. He was replaced by Edi Rama, the Mayor of the capital Tirana.
Although they didn’t win in 2009, the PS narrowed the gap and took 66 of the 140 seats in the parliament. Success finally came their way in the June 2013 general election when they won once more, taking 84 of the 140 seats in the National Assembly as part of the 40 party Alliance for a European Albania with Edi Rama as their new Prime Minister.
The Socialist Party of Albania is a member of Socialist International and an Associate Member of the Party of European Socialists.