Also: Shqypni; Shqipriė.
Officially: Republika e Shqipėrisė.
English: Albania.
Seat of government: Tiranė.
Status: Democratic.
Structure: Parliament is elected in geographical constituencies with party-list proportional representation. Government is led by a prime minister chosen by parliament. The president is also chosen by parliament.
Governing party: Aleanca pėr Shqipėrinė Europiane (chiefly Partia Socialiste; also Lėvizja Socialiste pėr Integrim, Κόμμα Ένωσης Ανθρωπίνων Δικαιωμάτων « Komma Enōsēs Ant‛rōpinōn Dikaiōmatōn »/Partia Bashkimi pėr tė Drejtat e Njeriut, Partia Demokristiane).
Heads of government: Edi Rama, PS, prime minister; Bujar Nishani, PD, president.
Parliamentary opposition: Aleanca pėr Punėsim, Mirėqenie, dhe Integrim (chiefly Partia Demokratike; also Partia Republikane, Partia Drejtėsi, Integrim, dhe Unitet).
Assessment: Much of the Shqiptar population lives unwillingly under other states. The state has been among the slowest to stabilize and modernize under market democracy; this was most obvious in 1997, when pyramid investment schemes collapsed, prompting unrest, rebellion, international intervention, the fall of the PD government, and a PS win in snap elections. Fatos Nano (1997-8), Pandeli Majko (1998-9) and Ilir Meta (1999-2002) all served as prime minister. The PS was reelected in 2001; Majko (2002) and Nano (2002-5) served as prime minister again, and a measure of stability returned. In 2005, the PD finished first in a disputed election, formed a coalition with PR, and former president (1992-7) Sali Berisha became prime minister (2005-13). The PD secured a second term in 2009 in coalition with LSI. The 2013 general election was contested by the PS and PD with broad coalitions; as a result, the PS coalition won an absolute majority of seats, and Rama became prime minister.
FH: 3-3, partly free (democratic). Econ: 5.91 (81), hybrid.
Updated: 2014 November 13.