Party of Labour of Albania
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For the successor party, see Socialist Party of Albania.
|Party of Labour of Albania|
Partia e Punës e Shqipërisë
Enver Hoxha (1941–85)|
Ramiz Alia (1985–91)
Fatos Nano (1991–1992)
|Founded||November 8, 1941|
|Dissolved||June 5, 1991|
|Succeeded by||Socialist Party of Albania|
|Headquarters||Tirana, People's Socialist Republic of Albania|
|Newspaper||Zëri i Popullit|
|Youth wing||Labour Youth Union of Albania|
The Party of Labour of Albania (Partia e Punës e Shqipërisë, PPSh in Albanian, sometimes referred to as the Albanian Workers' Party) was the vanguard party of Albania during the communist period (1945–1991) as well as the only legal political party. It was founded on November 8, 1941, as the Communist Party of Albania (Partia Komuniste e Shqipërisë), but its name was changed in 1948. In 1991, the party was succeeded by the Socialist Party of Albania.
Contrary to most Balkan countries in the 1920s, Albania was the only country without a Communist Party. The first Albanian communists emerged from the followers of Albanian clergyman and politician Fan S. Noli. Once in Moscow, they formed the National Revolutionary Committee and became affiliated to the Comintern. In August 1928, the first Albanian Communist Party was formed in the Soviet Union. The most prominent figure of the party was Ali Kelmendi who later fled Albania in 1936 to fight in the Spanish Civil War. He was later regarded as the leader of a small group of Albanian Communists in France. However, no unified organization existed in Albania until 1941. Following the German attack on Russia, Yugoslav leader Joseph Broz Tito under Comintern directives sent two Yugoslav delegates Miladin Popovic and Dushan Mugosa to Albania. After intensive work, the Albanian Communist Party was formed in November 8, 1941 by the two Yugoslav delegates with Enver Hoxha from the Korca branch as its leader.
The PKSh was the dominant element of the National Liberation Movement (LNC), formed in 1942. The LNC drove out the German occupiers (who had taken over from the Italians in 1943) on 29 November 1944. From that day onward, Albania was an undisguised Communist state (though the monarchy was only formally abolished in 1946). In every other Eastern European country, the Communists were at least nominally part of a coalition government for a few years before seizing power at the helm of out-and-out Communist dictatorships.
The ideology of the PPSh was Anti-Revisionist Marxism-Leninism. The party organisation was built up following democratic centralist principles, with Enver Hoxha as its First Secretary. Article 3 of Albania's 1976 Constitution identified the Party as the "leading political force of the state and of the society." To help carry out its ideological activities it had an associated mass organization known as the Democratic Front. Its daily publication was Zëri i Popullit (Voice of the People) and its monthly theoretical journal was Rruga e Partisë (Road of the Party).
The highest organ of the Party, according to the Party statutes, was the Party Congress, which met for a few days every five years. Delegates to the Congress were elected at conferences held at the regional, district, and city levels. The Congress examined and approved reports submitted by the Central Committee, discussed general Party policies, and elected the Central Committee. The latter was the next-highest level in the Party hierarchy and generally included all key officials in the government, as well as prominent members of the intelligentsia. The Central Committee directed Party activities between Party Congresses and met approximately three times a year.
As in the Soviet Union, the Central Committee elected a Politburo and a Secretariat. The Politburo, which usually included key government ministers and Central Committee secretaries, was the main administrative and policy-making body and convened on a weekly basis. Generally, the Central Committee approved Politburo reports and policy decisions. The Secretariat was responsible for guiding the day-to-day affairs of the Party, in particular for organising the execution of Politburo decisions and for selecting Party and government cadres.
In 1991, the PPSh reformed and became the social-democratic Socialist Party of Albania, one of the two major political parties in Albania. A group called "Volunteers of Enver", led by Hysni Milloshi, laid claim to the identity of the PPSh as the Communist Party of Albania (1991).
First Secretaries of the Party of Labour of Albania
- Enver Hoxha (Secretary of the Central Committee to February, 1943) November 8, 1941 - April 11, 1985
- Ramiz Alia April 13, 1985–May 4, 1991
The staunchly orthodox stand of the PPSh attracted many political groupings around the world, particularly among Maoists who were not content with the CPC attitude in the late 1970s. A large number of parties declared themselves to be in the "PPSh line", especially during the period 1978-1980. However, many of them abandoned this certain affiliation after the fall of the communist regime in Albania. Today, many of the political parties upholding the political line of the PPSh are grouped around the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organisations.
Various friendship associations were also formed by international Communist sympathisers who supported the Party:
- China–Albania Friendship Association
- Soviet–Albanian Friendship Society
- USA-Albania Friendship Association
- India–Albania Friendship Association
- Friendship Association Norway–Albania
- Spain–Albania Friendship Association
- History of Albania
- Fall of communism in Albania
- Eastern Bloc politics
- Politburo of the Party of Labour of Albania
- Miranda Vickers. The Albanians: A Modern History. IB Tauris: New York, 1995
- Afrim Krasniqi: "Partite Politike ne Shqiperi",ISBN 99943-861-1-5
- Documents of the Party of Labour of Albania
- A speech delivered by E. Hoxha commemorating the 20th anniversary of the founding of the PPSh
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