The Political Bureau in Pluralism, its Decisions and Activity from December 1990 to June 1991
Studime Historike (Historical Studies), 1-2, Institut of History, Academy of Albanian Studies, Tirana
28 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2021
Date Written: February 4, 2020
The political developments of 1991 in Albania were accompanied by sharp contrasts and coexistence of new concepts such as democracy with the remnants of the previous mono-party system. A typical example was the functioning of the Political Bureau as a party and state institution even under the system of political pluralism. This paper examines the political events from December 1990 to June 1991, a period during which the institution of the ALP’s Political Bureau continued to function and take decisions despite the new reality of political pluralism.
Many studies and archival documents show that the Political Bureau continued to behave not like a high political organ of a party, but as a political institution leading the state, - a traditional practice throughout the communist system. Taking decisions on behalf of other state institutions, especially the People’s Parliament and the Council of Ministers, was common occurrence for the Political Bureau under the mono-party system, and it continued to take place until June 1991. The Bureau kept imposing the way constitutional and executive institutions were to be run politically, maintained control over the public safety, diplomatic and defense institutions, etc. and in addition, took several constraining verdicts for the state and the constitutional organs. The existence of the Bureau during the pluralist period and its decisions despite the establishment of a new political system were representative of the fragility of the democratic concepts but also of the predominant political culture of the time, according to which the new system was controlled by the old system and the political and state structures were an accessory of the latter. In the spring of 1991 the most powerful political and state institution of the country was forcefully dismissed from the political life mainly due to citizens’ pressure who disapproved the model, heritage, negative image and outcome the Bureau represented.
This paper analyzes all the major decisions of the ALP’s Political Bureau during the political pluralism, the curve of transition from a major decision making institution to its full disintegration, the acts which had an impact on the political and executive power, the status and the composition of the Bureau, the relations of other state institutions with it, and additional important elements in the phase of establishing new political entities and institutions in Albania, from January to June 1991. The funds of documents used were mainly obtained from the State Central Archives but also additional archival sources and memoirs were used.
Keywords: Political Bureau, Albanian Labor Party (ALP), controlled pluralism, political culture, elections, transition.
JEL Classification: Z19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation