Albanian Workers Party
Albanian Workers Party
(AWP; Partia e Punës e Shqipërisë), founded Nov. 8,1941, in Tirana during the Italian Fascist occupation of Albania. Called the Communist Party of Albania (CPA) until 1948, it was formed out of the union of individual communist groups (from the cities of Korçe, Shkodra, and Tirana) which came into existence in the 1930’s. A program of struggle against the occupiers and their accomplices for national liberation and the establishment of a popular democratic regime was worked out in the resolutions of the organizing conference and in subsequent documents of the CPA. Under the leadership of the CPA, the National Liberation Front was established in September 1942 (as of 1945, the Democratic Front). In March 1943 the first Albanian national conference of the CPA assembled in Liabinoti. This conference outlined the tasks involved in broadening the party’s ties with the masses and intensifying the struggle against the fascist occupiers and internal reaction, adopting a resolution for the organization of the National Liberation Army based on the partisan bands (the army was established in July 1943). In the course of the national liberation struggle led by the CPA, the tasks of the national democratic revolution were achieved. With the destruction of the fascist coalition by the Soviet Union, the national liberation struggle of the Albanian people led by the CPA was able to bring about the complete liberation of the country from the fascist occupiers (Nov. 29, 1944) and the establishment of a people’s regime. The CPA mobilized the working people to carry out democratic transformations and proclaimed the construction of socialism.
The First Congress of the CPA was held in November 1948. It confirmed the goals for the country’s economic and cultural development for 1949–50 and adopted a statute for the party, resolving to rename it the Albanian Workers Party (AWP). The Second Congress of the AWP, held in March-April 1952, ratified the goals of the first five-year plan for the development of the national economy (1951–55), setting as the main economic task the transformation of Albania from a backward agrarian country into an agrarian-industrial country.
The Third Congress of the AWP (May-June 1956) adopted directives for the second five-year plan of national economic development (1956–60) and modified the statutes of the AWP. The Fourth Congress of the AWP (February 1961) confirmed the directives on the development of the economy and culture of the country in the third five-year plan (1961–65) and introduced some changes into the party’s statutes. The Fifth Congress of the AWP was held in November 1966; it confirmed the directives on the fourth five-year plan for the country’s economic and cultural development (1966–70) and introduced certain changes into the statutes of the AWP.
A delegation from the AWP participated in the Conference of Representatives of Communist and Workers Parties of the Socialist Countries (Moscow, Nov. 14–16, 1957) and in the signing of its declaration as well as in the Conference of Representatives of Communist and Workers Parties (Moscow, Nov. 16–19, 1957) which adopted the Manifesto on Peace. An AWP delegation took part in the work of the Conference of Representatives of Communist and Workers Parties (Moscow, November 1960), signing the conference declaration and appeal to the peoples of the world. However, after 1960 the leaders of the AWP began to carry out divisive actions with respect to socialist collaboration and the international communist movement.
The Congress of the AWP—its supreme organ—chooses the Central Committee and the Central Control and Auditing Commissions. The Central Committee chooses a politburo to direct the work of the Central Committee in the intervals between plenums and a secretariat to manage the ongoing work of the party. The first secretary of the Central Committee of the AWP is E. Hoxha. The AWP has 66,327 members and candidate members (November 1966). The organs of the AWP are the newspaper Zëri i popullit and the periodical Rruga e partisë.