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Albania: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Albania
conventional short form: Albania
local long form: Republika e Shqiperise
local short form: Shqiperia
former: People's Socialist Republic of Albania
etymology: the English-language country name seems to be derived from the ancient Illyrian tribe of the Albani; the native name "Shqiperia" is popularly interpreted to mean "Land of the eagles"
Government typeparliamentary republic
CapitalTirana (Tirane) Tirana (Tirane)
geographic coordinates: 41 19 N, 19 49 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions12 counties (qarqe, singular - qark); Berat, Diber, Durres, Elbasan, Fier, Gjirokaster, Korce, Kukes, Lezhe, Shkoder, Tirane, Vlore
Independence28 November 1912 (from the Ottoman Empire)
National holidayIndependence Day, 28 November (1912) also known as Flag Day
Constitutionhistory: several previous; latest approved by the Assembly 21 October 1998, adopted by referendum 22 November 1998, promulgated 28 November 1998; amended several times, last in 2012
amendments: proposed by at least one-fifth of Assembly members; approval required by at least two-thirds vote of members; referendum required only if approved by two-thirds of Assembly; amendments approved by referendum effective upon declaration by the president of the republic; amended several times, last in 2012 (2016)
Legal systemcivil law system except in the northern rural areas where customary law known as the "Code of Leke" prevails
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Albania
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President of the Republic Bujar NISHANI (since 24 July 2012)
head of government: Prime Minister Edi RAMA (since 10 September 2013); Deputy Prime Minister Niko PELESHI
cabinet: Council of Ministers proposed by the prime minister, nominated by the president, and approved by the Assembly
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the Assembly for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); a candidate needs three-fifths majority vote of the Assembly in 1 of 3 rounds or a simple majority in 2 additional rounds to become president; election last held in 4 rounds during the period 30 May-11 June 2012 (next election to be held in 2017); prime minister appointed by the president on the proposal of the majority party or coalition of parties in the Assembly
election results: Bujar NISHANI elected president; Assembly vote - 73 of 140 in fourth round
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral Assembly or Kuvendi (140 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 23 June 2013 (next to be held in 2017)
election results: percent of vote by party - PS 41.36%, PD 30.63%, LSI 10.46%, PR 3.02%, PDIU 2.61%, other 11.92%; seats by party - PS 65, PD 50, LSI 16, PDIU 4, PR 3, other 2; seats by parliamentary group as of April 2015 - ASHE 88, APMI 50, 2 - outside of the majority and opposition groups
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (consists of 150 judges organized into 4 divisions: civil and commercial; social security and labor; criminal; and administrative; Constitutional Council (consists of 9 members including the court president); note - Algeria's judicial system does not include sharia courts
judge selection and term of office: Constitutional Court judges appointed by the president with the consent of the Assembly to serve single 9-year terms with one-third of the membership renewed every 3 years; chairman elected by the People's Assembly for a single 3-year term; Court of Cassation judges, including the chairman, appointed by the president with the consent of the Assembly to serve single 9-year terms)
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Courts of First Instance
Political parties and leadersAlliance for Employment, Welfare, and Integration or APMI (coalition of 24 centrist and center-right parties) Sali BERISHA:
Christian Democratic Party or PDK (Nard NDOKA)
Democratic Party or PD (Lulzim BASHA)
Movement for National Development of LZHK (Dashamir SHEHI)
Republican Party or PR (Fatmir MEDIU)
Alliance for a European Albania or ASHE (coalition of 38 parties from far left to right wing) Edi RAMA:
Christian Democratic Party of PKD (Mark FRROKU)
Party for Justice, Integration and Unity or PDIU (Shpetim IDRIZI) (formerly part of APMI)
Socialist Movement for Integration or LSI (Ilir META)
Socialist Party or PS (Edi RAMA)
Union for Human Rights Party or PBDNJ (Vangjel DULE)
other parties:
New Democratic Spirit or FRD (Bamir TOPI)

note: only the major parties of each coalition are listed
Political pressure groups and leadersConfederation of Trade Unions of Albania or KSSH (Kol NIKOLLAJ)
Omonia (Vasil BOLLANO)
Union of Independent Trade Unions of Albania or BSPSH (Gezim KALAJA)
International organization participationBSEC, CD, CE, CEI, EAPC, EBRD, EITI (compliant country), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NATO, OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, SELEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Floreta FABER (since 18 May 2015)
chancery: 1312 18th Street NW, 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: (1) (202) 223-4942
FAX: (1) (202) 628-7342
consulate(s) general: New York
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Donald LU (since 13 January 2015)
embassy: Rruga e Elbasanit, 103, Tirana
mailing address: US Department of State, 9510 Tirana Place, Dulles, VA 20189-9510
telephone: (355) (4) 2247-285
FAX: (355) (4) 2232-222
Flag descriptionred with a black two-headed eagle in the center; the design is claimed to be that of 15th-century hero George Kastrioti SKANDERBEG, who led a successful uprising against the Ottoman Turks that resulted in a short-lived independence for some Albanian regions (1443-78); an unsubstantiated explanation for the eagle symbol is the tradition that Albanians see themselves as descendants of the eagle; they refer to themselves as "Shqiptare," which translates as "sons of the eagle"
National symbol(s)double-headed eagle; national colors: red, black
National anthemname: "Hymni i Flamurit" (Hymn to the Flag)
lyrics/music: Aleksander Stavre DRENOVA/Ciprian PORUMBESCU

note: adopted 1912