For the many decades under his domination, Hoxha created and destroyed relationships with Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union, and China. The country was isolated, first from the West (Western Europe, North America and Australasia) and later even from the communist East.
In 1985, Hoxha died and Ramiz Alia took his place. Initially, Alia tried hard to follow in Hoxha's footsteps, but softened his politics in response to the democratic change that was already sweeping Eastern Europe. In 1992 general elections were held and won by the new Democratic Party with 62% of the votes. Alia resigned and Sali Berisha was the first post-communist president elected.
In the general elections of 1996 the Democratic Party tried to win an absolute majority and manipulated the results. Confidence in the government reached a new low in 1997 when a rash of pyramid schemes jolted the economy and caused widespread rioting. In the ensuing period of anarchy and militia rule, a new government of national unity was formed. The Socialist Party won the early elections of 1997 and Berisha resigned as president.
The power feuds raging inside the Socialist Party led to a series of short-lived Socialist governments. The country was flooded with refugees from neighboring Kosovo in 1998 and 1999 during the Kosovo War. In June 2002, a compromise candidate, Alfred Moisiu, a former general, was elected to succeed President Rexhep Meidani. Parliamentary elections in July, 2005 brought back to power Sali Berisha, Leader of the Democratic Party, mostly owing to Socialist infighting and a series of corruption scandals plaguing the government of Fatos Nano.
Since 1990 Albania has been diplomatically oriented towards the West-it was accepted to the Council of Europe and has requested membership in NATO. The workforce of Albania has continued to migrate to Greece, Italy, Germany and other parts of Europe, and North America.