First steps of Democratic Society in Albania

First steps of Democratic Society in Albania

1990 May, Visit to Albania by the former United Nations Secretary General, Perez de Cueller.American Congressman, Tom Lantosh arrives in Albania for a three days visit. Meeting with Ramiz Alia.

July, Demonstrations in Tirana culminates in a number of people rushing into various foreign embassies and requesting asylum. Ferries carrying Albanian emigrants, who arrive at Brindisi, Italy.

The restoration of diplomatic links with the former Soviet Union is announced.

December, Mother Teresa pays her second visit to Albania.

Disturbances at the University Campus in Tirana over living conditions, later on the students asked for political changes. The police intervene to disperse demonstrators.

The formation of Democratic Party legalized on December 18th. The multi party system is officially allowed and leads to the formation of twelve parties.

1991 February 20th, Thousands of demonstrators protesting in the capital, Tirana. They topple down the statue of Enver Hoxha.

Religion is legalized, the religion institutions are opened and the ex-persecuted priests and Moslem clergymen are allowed to exercise their profession freely.

March, Some 20.000 Albanian grabbed ships in the country’s ports and left for Italian shores.

The biblical exodus entered the history of the people, which had never proved it since the 15th century. Albanian Government declares ports of special importance and guards them with army troops.

March 31st, Elections are organized all over Albania. The Party of Labor (reformed as Socialist Party) wins the elections. Ramiz Alia is sworn in as the President of Albania.

June, The formation of coalition Government.

December, collapse of coalition Government forced by the Democratic Party, because the Socialists are seen to be stalling on the reform program.

1992 March, The Democratic Party wins a landslide victory in the general election with over 65% of the popular vote.

April, The resignation of Ramiz Alia (President of Albania).Dr. Sali Berisha is sworn in as the new President. The new Government vows to implement a wide-ranging reform program.

1993 April, Papa Gjon Pali and Mother Tereza visit Albania.

1993 Albania’s openness, its full guarantees and legislation have facilitated the activities of foreign investors already present in Albania, most of them from Italy (53%) and Greece (20%), but also from Germany, the U.S., U.K., Austria, France, Kuwait, and so on. Well companies such as Hamilton, OXY, Agip, Chevron, Coca-Cola, Rogner, OMV, are operating in Albania.

1994 April-August, Relations between Albania and Greece are very much severed, both countries retreated some diplomats and thousands of Albanian emigrants were deported from Greek police and army. A group of attackers from Greece entered the Albanian territory and killed a soldier and injured some others in a military unit near the border crossing point of Kakavia (Albania). Meanwhile 5 Albanian citizens of Greek origin were charged with spying and sentenced by a court in Tirana.

November, The Constitution failed to be approved by the Referendum


July 13th, The ceremony of the membership of Albania in the Council of Europe is organized in Strasbourg and the Albanian flag is raised.

1995 September 11th, President of Albania, Mr.Sali Berisha visits U.S.A. He meets the President of U.S.A., Mr. Bill Clinton.

1996 May 26th, General Parliamentary Elections. Opposition parties (Socialist Party, Social Democrat Party, and Alliance Party) withdraw from the elections five o’clock p.m., pretending for irregularities.

Democratic Party claimed a landslide victory.

May 26th, Socialists asked for completely fresh election. While the President Berisha decreed a partial rerun in 17 constituencies for June 16. The DP candidates won in 17 constituencies.

1996 September, “Miss Europe” is organized in Albania for the first time in the Albanian history. The most beautiful girls from 37 countries of Europe took part in this competition.

Miss England is warded with the first prize, becoming the winner of the first prize of Miss Europe for 1996. January, Mass protests by people who had lost their life savings in failed pyramid investment schemes.

January 30th, Ten opposition parties from across the political spectrum form the Forum for Democracy, vowing to hold protests across the country. They ask Berisha (President of Albania) to dismiss his government and set up a technocrat government to resolve the crisis.

March 9th, Berisha signs agreement with leaders of all political parties calling for a broad-based coalition government (National Reconciliation Government) and elections by June.

March 11th, President of the Republic Sali Berisha decreed the appointment of the Prime Minister.

Mr. Bashkim Fino is the Prime Minister of the broad-based coalition government. Mr. Fino was proposed by the Socialist Party, with the consensus of all other parties in the round table.

March 12th – 14th, Tirana is swept by insecurity. The President of the Republic and Prime Minister asked for multi-national military forces to be present in Albania.Minister of Defense, Mr. Safet Zhulali escapes to Italy

March 13th, All the prisoners (1209) escaped, helped by armed persons. Albania is the only country in the world without prisoners at this moment. (Among those prisoners are 23 persons who are punished with life-sentenced for hard crimes).

Berisha acquits Fatos Nano of the prison as well as 50 other prisoners. (Those 50 were convicted with one to two years in prison).

Albania’s jailed opposition Socialist leader, Fatos Nano, who served a short term as Prime Minister in 1991, was arrested in 1993 and jailed a year later on charges of corruption relating to an Italian aid scandal. International Human Rights Groups have called on the Albanian government to free Nano, who they said was wrongly convicted.

March 14th, American Embassy and other Western Embassies evacuate their citizens from Albania to their countries.

March 20th, The situation is a bit better. The situation of state institutions in Tirana is under control of the broad-based coalition government.

April 14th, Multinational Military Forces arrive in Albania, to start the “Alba” operation. France, Greece, Turkey, Spain, Romania, Denmark and Austria. will take part in this mission.

One of the representatives of this mission said: “Their mission in Albania is to secure distribution of aid correctly, in the context of the “Alba” operation, and that they have not any military mission”.

June 29th, Parliamentary elections as well as the Referendum for the Republic or Monarchy.

July, Election Commission proclaims the final polls results. The Central Election Committee (CEC) after a three-day stand off managed to announce the final results of the parliamentary elections of June 29.

The Socialists won 100 seats in the 155-seat assembly and the Democratic Party 27 seats. Six other parties will take in some other seats at the Parliament. The Royal Party, which lost the referendum, will have two seats.

July 24th, The Albanian Parliament elected the new President of Albania, after the irrevocable resignation of Berisha. The new President will be Rexhep Meidani, 52 of age, so far Secretary General of the Socialist Party. He won by 110 votes for, three against, two abstentions and seven ballot-papers were found invalid. The deputies of the biggest opposition party, the Democratic Party, did not participate in this session.

July 25th, The Albanian President, Mr. Meidani decreed the appointment of the new Prime Minister, Mr. Fatos Nano.

Sept.6th, The Albanian Noble woman, Agnes Gonxhe Bojaxhi known as “Mother Tereza” died. In 50 years of dictatorship, she was not given the possibility to set foot in Albania. After 1990, she visited Albania twice.

The Albanian Government decided:

- To declare the dates 11, 12, 13 September 1997 as days of state mourning.

- Albanian half banner is to be hoisted in all the institutions from 6 to 13 Sept.

The President of Albania, Mr. Meidani said: “Mother Tereza was a great citizen of the world. Her loss will afflict all the Albanians. Mother Teresa’s name and deed were a symbol of the Albanian people, where the high values of tolerance, human solidarity found shelter. These values will serve as reference to us”.

The President of U.S.A., Mr. Clinton said: “The house that she opened in Calcutta about the people that are dying for almost a century is called Nirmal Hriday that means “pure heart” ad if once had existed a pure heart, that’s Mother Teresa’s”.

Sept. 10th, Prime minister, Mr. Nano takes part in an important mission to West of Europe, Hong-Kong, Washington, before the Donor’s Conference for Albania in Rome and Brussels.

EU and IMF Interior Councils of Ministers guarantee the recovery of Albania.

Nov.5th, Crete: The Balkan leaders, discussed about the problems on the security in the Balkan and other aspects, related to it.

Nano – Milosevic meeting has attracted the attention as the first high-level one after 50 years.

1998 Jan. 23rd, Council of Europe delegation called all Albanian political parties for preparing the Albanian Constitution as soon as possible.

March 6th, Kosova issue unites all Albanian political parties.

Sixty thousand (60.000) Tirana citizens protest for Kosova in the Scanderbeg square, under the slogan “One nation- one stand”.

July 1st, The General Secretary of NATO Havier Solana arrived for a two-day official visit in Albania. During his visit he met the highest Albania authorities, the President, Premier, Defense Minister etc., discussing with them about the present situation in Albania and Kosova and the influx of the Albanians of Kosova towards Albania.

Sept.12th, Azem Hajdari, the leader of the Democratic Party of Albania, the leader of democratic students’ movement of 1990, is shot dead at 21:10 (p.m.) in front of DP headquarters. One of Hajdari’s two bodyguards was also killed.

Azem Hajdari suffered four murder attempts within a year, including a five bullets murder attempt by a socialist MP in the Parliament hall on Sept.18, 1998.

Sept.14th, Thousands of people of Tirana buried one of the main leaders of DP and Albanian opposition leader Azem Hajdari. After the ceremony, the crowd carried the bodies of Mr.Azem Hajdari and his bodyguard- each in wooden coffin- down the city’s main street and to the Prime minister’s building. As mourners placed the coffins at the entrance, gunfire erupted, apparently from guards inside the building. The funeral turned violent with crowds seizing the Prime minister’s building and state television. About fifty people were wounded and some offices were looted.

Sept.19th, A European delegation arrived in Tirana to seek ways to end the violence in Albania.

OSBE declared: “The purpose of the visit is to deliver a message to the government and the opposition with a view to restoring stability, political cooperation and good governance. It is also imperative to bring to justice those guilty of the murder of Mr.Hajdari and his bodyguard”.
Sept.28th, Prime minister Fatos Nano presented in the evening to the President of Albania, Mr.Meidani, and his resignation from the post of the Premier.

Sept.29th Mr.Pandeli Majko, former Secretary-General of SP is appointed Prime Minister of Albania.

Oct. 3rd, Serbs open fire towards Albanian border station in Pogaj of Has district. The fire damaged slightly some homes of the village and livestock. During May-September 1998, forty-one incidents by the Serb military forces have been registered. During the same period 10 Albanian citizens have been killed, 3 wounded and the Albanian space had been violated 8 times.

1999 Feb.27th, Serb troops deploy in force throughout Kosova: sporadic fighting is reported in the north. Serb troops bombard the northern frontiers (Tropoja district) of Albania. Some Serb units enter in Albanian territory and open fire towards Albanian military forces. Albanian government takes measures to protect its territory.

March 26th, Ethnic Albanians fleeing or expelled from Kosova begin to pour into Albania and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Albanian government takes measures for the accommodation of Albanians coming from Kosova.

April, About 600 000 of ethnic Albanians coming from Kosova are living in the refugee camps and Albanian families. All over Albania, families are taking in Kosovars, sharing what little they have. Kosovars tell sad stories of terrible massacres in Kosova by the Serbs.

June 10th, Serb forces start withdrawal from Kosova. NATO halts war. U.N. Security Council endorses peace terms.

June 14th, Thousands ethnic Albanians from Kosova begin to stream home to Kosova despite a warning by NATO troops that the return should start on July 10.

The Brussels (European Commission) study makes a complete autopsy of the societies of the five countries of Southeast Europe: Albania, Croatia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Bosnia, and Yugoslavia. Brussels has projected a new mode of integration for this region into Europe, proclaiming the “system for post war Southeast Europe”, by stating that Brussels will spend 5 billion euro annually for 10 years to achieve the integration of the five countries into the European Union.

States at times dictatorial, at times anarchical, with fragile societies and economies will have the support of European Union to order and security.

“Illegal activities generate the most money”. “Corruption, drug and clandestine traffics are the biggest economic activities”. The objectives of European Union aim at turning the region into attractive zone for foreign capital. A free zone, with no custom duties to be paid, and above all, under the European Union control, would attract many businesses to invest, to avoid the temptation of corruption which could spread to other agencies as well.

Oct.26th, Albanian President Rexhep Meidani accepted Prime Minister Pandeli Majko's resignation. Majko became Europe’s youngest Premier when he took office on Oct.2, 1988, at the age 30.

Oct.28th, President Meidani decreed the new Prime Minister Ilir Meta.

Dec.11th, Death penalty is abolished in Albania.

The Constitutional Court decided to abolish the death penalty in Albania. The decision was taken based on the principles presented by the Council of Europe, as well as based in the Albanian constitution, which sanctions the capital punishment which previously existed in constitutional courts. The capital punishment could be carried out only for crimes committed when the country is in a state of war, or its very close to war. The capital punishment will be 25 years of imprisonment or the sentence for life. Republican Party opposes death penalty.

2000 March 24th, Albanian Parliament adopts draft resolution on Stability Pact.

April 1st, Donors Conference opens in Brussels. Albania benefits for the first phase some 112 million Euro for 7 projects mainly in construction of road infrastructure.

August 1st, Albanian President Rexhep Meidani called on neighbor Greece to scrap a law dating back to World War Two, which declares a state of War between the two countries. The law, passed in 1940 when Greece was invaded by Italian troops through Albania, was repealed by the Greek government in 1987 but has never been nullified by Greece’s parliament.Albanian officials say the law prevents Albanian from claiming property they owned in Greece prior to World War Two. Some 400.000 Albanians work in Greece as immigrants.

Sept.11th, Albania becomes member of World Trade Organization (WTO). Oct.1st, Local government elections are held in Albania.

2001 June 24t, Parliamentary elections. According to the law, it includes 100 deputies (MP) elected on the basis of the majority system and 40 deputies (MP) on the proportional system.

August 21st The Central Election Commission announces the final results of the Parliamentary elections of June 24th.

The Socialist won 73 MP; the opposition which includes “Democratic Party + Union for the victory” won 25 MP. On the other side, the opposition coalition profits by the proportional system 21 MP, Democrat Party (Partia Demokrate) 6MP, SDP (Social Democratic Party) 4MP, ADP (Alliance Democratic Party) 3 MP, AP (Agrarian Party) 3 MP, and Alliance of Human Rights Party 3 MP, as well as 2 Independent MP. “Democratic Party + Union for the victory” (46 MP) said that they will boycott the Parliament because of the manipulations of the results.

September 12th Ilir Meta is re-elected Prime Minister of Albania.

2002 January 29th Prime Minister Ilir Meta resigns.

February 7th President of Republic decreed the new Prime Minister Pandeli Majko.

February 22nd The Albanian Parliament gives the vote of confidence to new Government headed by Pandeli Majko.