Albania's communists, facing their first political challenge in 46 years of hardline Marxist rule, published an electoral platform Friday promising voters a reformed economy and political system.
Reiterating many proposals already aired by the leadership, the Communist Albanian Party of Labor promised freedom of worship and travel if voters chose the party over the new opposition Democratic Party in the first free postwar elections, on Feb. 10.Such concessions would have been unthinkable only months ago.
But after tinkering with reforms for months, President Ramiz Alia has been forced to accelerate reform. Pressure for change climaxed with riots in four Albanian cities in December.
The electoral platform carried by the state news agency ATA repeated proposals made by Alia in a major policy speech Dec. 26, and by the Communists in a draft for a new constitution published Sunday.