According to Countryaah, in May 1991, 300,000 launched a strike demanding the resignation of the Communist government and a 50% increase in wages. Prime Minister Fatos Nano dissolved the government for seeking an alliance with the opposition parties, sparking fierce criticism by the orthodox communists against the party’s leadership and President Alia. In late 1991, the PD criticized the government for blocking the implementation of reforms and pulled out its ministers. The Socialist Party could no longer hold back the crisis. With the economy collapsing, PD won by 65.5% a crushing victory over the Socialist Party’s 22.6% in the March 1992 parliamentary elections. In turn, turnout declined to 20%. On April 4, 1992, PD leader Sali Berisha succeeded Ramiz Alia as president of Albania. He won 96 seats against the 35 Socialists in a parliament now reduced to 150 members.
In mid-1993, the lawsuits began against the former government’s most important figures: Naxhmija Hoxha, widow of the country’s historic communist leader, Enver Hoxha; President Ramiz Alia, former Prime Minister Fatos Nano, along with others were sentenced to prison sentences for improper handling of public funds.
Throughout 1994-95, private property laws were passed that affected both national and foreign investment. At foreign policy level, the country was admitted as the 36th member of the Council of Europe and progress was made in normalizing relations with neighboring countries.
Throughout 1995 and 1996, several mass media reported that they had been subject to censorship and intimidation and the relationship between the political parties remained very tense. The so-called «Verification Act» gave the government the right to intervene ifbm. the occupation of certain public posts, based on information provided by Sigurimi – the secret police of the former communist regime. The “Communist crimes and genocide” law prevents former communist leaders from seeking public office until 2002, and a new electoral law prevents the formation of coalitions between the smaller political parties.
On May 26, 1996, a parliamentary election was held in which the majority of the opposition was prevented from taking part. PD got 122 out of 150 seats in parliament. On election day itself, the Socialist Party, the Democratic Alliance (center-right), the Social Democracy and the Human Rights Party withdrew from participating. The Socialist Party accused the government of controlling the election through the use of police and gangs and demanded the election be canceled. At the same time, President Berisha accused the socialists of organizing terrorist groups. Observers posted from Washington confirmed the existence of government precession.
In the following months, the legitimacy of the election was called into question by both the United States and several European countries interested in investing in Albania. In response to a recommendation from the Council of Europe, an ad-hoc commission was set up to investigate irregularities and, in particular, abuse of opposition leaders.