Albania's current political framework is provided for in the 1998 constitution known as Kushtetuta. The constitution established the country as a parliamentary representative democratic republic. Albania lies in southern Europe with its capital at Tirana. The country's medieval history features occupation by numerous empires from the Romans, Byzantines, and Ottoman Turks. Although the nation was recognized as independent in 1912, its boundaries were demarcated in 1913 by the super powers of Europe. Albania embraced communism after World War II until 1990 when the communist regime collapsed.
Duties of the Albanian Head of State are carried out by the president (presidenti). The Parliament of Albania elects the president through a secret ballot, and the winner has to amass a two-third majority from the votes cast. Albania's president performs numerous duties in his capacity as the commander-in-chief of the nation's armed forces. The president ensures that the constitution, as well as other laws, are followed. The Albanian president further appoints the prime minister and executes the responsibilities of the parliament when it is not in session. Other duties of the president include granting pardons to convicts, participating in global organizations, declaring war, and concluding peace agreements.
Prime Minister and Ministers
The cabinet of Albania is legally authorized to carry out executive duties. The prime minister is the chair of the cabinet, and is known as Kryeministri or the Chairman of the Council. The prime minister is nominated by the president. The prime minister heads meetings of the Council of Ministers and oversees the implementation of policies passed by the council. The Albanian prime minister tables the policies of the state and stands accountable for them. The prime minister recommends the composition of the Council of Ministers be approved by the president. The cabinet is mandated to execute domestic and foreign policies.
Legislative duties in Albania are carried out by a unicameral parliament. 140 members are elected for a four year term based on a closed list proportional representation electoral system. 100 deputies are elected directly by the population while 40 members are nominated by their respective parties. The legislature is chaired by the chairman of the parliament or the Kryetar i Kuvendit who has two deputies. The assembly has 14 permanent committees. The Albanian Official Journal publishes laws approved by the assembly in its capacity as the government's official journal.
The Albanian court system follows the civil law tradition borrowed from the French and features three main bodies. The highest courts have courts such as the Supreme Court as well as the Constitutional Court under it. The intermediate courts include the Administrative Court of Appeals and the Court of Appeals for serious crimes. The first instance courts are the lowest in the judicial hierarchy and feature courts such as district courts. 17 judges give audience in the Supreme Court, and they can serve for a single 9-year term. The Constitutional Court reigns supreme in matters of the interpretation of the constitution.
For administration purposes, Albania is subdivided into 12 prefectures/counties. Some districts make up a country, and the current numbers of districts (Rreths) are 36. Every district is complete with a local administration headed by a governor who is elected by the District Council. Voters directly elect city mayors.