Contemporary Southeastern Europe
The 2013 Parliamentary Elections in Albania: Lights and Shadows
The parliamentary elections in Albania took place on June, 23, 2013. They marked the end of a turbulent mandate, 2009-2013, by an odd ruling coalition between the biggest right wing political force, the Democratic Party (DP) led by Sali Berisha, and the second largest left wing party the Socialist Movement for Integration (SMI) led by Ilir Meta. The coalition was odd because the two leaders before 2009 had been bitter political enemies who for years had accused each-other of corruption, authoritarianism, and connections with organized crime. In fact the Socialist Movement for Integration (SMI), a 2003 splinter group from the Socialist, had run on an anti-Berisha campaign during the 2009 elections. Therefore, when the SMI and its leader Meta formed a coalition with the Democratic Party after the 2009 elections that enabled Berisha to stay in power as Prime Minister, many who had voted Meta and SMI as the true left-wing opposition were surprised and disappointed.