Politics throughout Albania's most recent parliamentary term (2009-2013) was marred by discord between the ruling and opposition parties Indeed, constant blocking of the Democratic Party's decisions by the Socialist Party thwarted its ability to legislate. The Socialists' accusations of electoral fraud and the illegitimacy of the ruling party were kept up following the 2009 elections. Political tension increased, reaching a peak in 2011 following local elections in which Edi Rama, the leader of the Socialist Party, was deprived of the mayoralty of Tirana.
Elections in 2013 were widely anticipated for a variety of reasons by both the Albanian public and the wider international community. Firstly, from an international perspective, Albania is awaiting ratification of its acceptance as a candidate for EU membership and as such needs to meet a series of democratic standards which have been monitored throughout the present electoral process. Secondly, from an internal perspective, during its four years in office the government endured a constant deadlock from an opposition party that never recognised Sali Berisa and his party as the winners of the 2009 elections. This led to public distrust and political fatigue among Albanians and ultimately disaffection towards politics itself.
As in previous elections, the political options could be divided into two main groups: on the one hand, the alliance created by the ruling Democratic Party (DP), headed by President Sali Berisa; on the other, the alliance formed by the Socialist Party (SP), headed by Edi Rama.
A third political grouping established in 2013 that has been of some concern to experts and observers due to its extremist positions, has been the nationalist grouping, the Black and Red Alliance. Its nationalist aspirations have been the focus of the international community's attention throughout these elections.
This publication was made possible thanks to funding from the Spanish
Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID).
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