A referendum on restoring the monarchy was held in Albania on 29 June 1997 alongside parliamentary elections.[1] The proposal was rejected by 66.7% of voters.[2] However, former Crown Prince Leka claimed that 65.7% voted in favour.[3]


Choice Votes %
For 450,478 33.3
Against 904,359 66.7
Invalid/blank votes 68,372
Total 1,423,209 100
Registered voters/turnout 1,986,550 71.64
Source: Direct Democracy


The House of Zogu never accepted the official result of the referendum. After the publication of the result by the Central Election Commission of Albania, during the 1997 rebellion in Albania, Leka returned again, this time being greeted by 2,000 supporters.[4]

After a recount it was announced that the restoration was rejected by approximately two-thirds of those voting.[5] The former Crown Prince questioned the independence of the election. Police intervened, gunfire broke out, one person was killed, and Leka fled.

On 30 November 2011, the former crown prince died, his son (Leka II) succeeding him as pretender to the defunct throne. That month, Prime Minister Sali Berisha questioned whether there was vote manipulation in the referendum, stating that "The referendum was held under the flares of a communist rebellion and cannot be considered a closed issue."[6]


  1. ^ Dieter Nohlen & Philip Stöver (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p133 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p.137
  3. ^ "Prince Leka". Albanian Royal House. Archived from the original on 2011-07-06. Retrieved 2011-04-10.
  4. ^ "Albania: two thousand attend Tirana protest rally in support of monarchy". ATA. 1997-07-02. Retrieved 2008-07-31.
  5. ^ Ex-king's son returns to Albania, BBC News Online, 28 June 2002.
  6. ^ Semini, Llazar (30 November 2011). "Albania's self-styled King Leka dies at 72". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on 30 March 2022.