Albania. Albania joined the NATO Defense Alliance in April, in line with previous decisions. The same month, the country submitted its formal application for membership in the EU, although the road to it was still assumed to be long. The EU, among other things, demands reduced corruption and crime. Functioning democracy is also a prerequisite for membership, which contributed to the electoral process being more of a focus than the result when parliamentary elections were held in June.
According to countryaah, the two parties that switched to power since the fall of communism differed little in terms of election promises and programs. Both the bourgeois Democratic Party PDS and the Socialist Party PSSH promised to fight poverty, increase investment and speed up the approach to the EU. The election result was very even. The PDS-led Alliance for Change received 70 of the 140 seats in Parliament, while the Socialist Alliance received 66 seats. The small Socialist Movement for Integration, a breakout group from PSSH led by former Prime Minister Ilir Meta, was given four seats.
After several months of negotiations, PDS leader, Prime Minister Sali Berisha, formed a new government in early September, now together with Meta’s party. Meta himself became Foreign Minister. Foreign observers, including the Council of Europe and NATO, found that there was better order and greater calm during the elections than in previous elections. Not least, progress in voter registration was noted.