European Western Balkans

Edi Rama declares victory in Albanian elections, 92% polling stations counted

Edi Rama; Photo: Prime Minister's Office

TIRANA – Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama has invited the members and supporters of his Socialist Party to a victory rally, as the vote count shows the SP closing in on an outright majority.

Currently, 92% of the polling stations have been counted and the Socialist Party has won 48,61% of the vote. Coalition around the opposition Democratic Party has won 39,38%, while the Socialist Movement for Integration (SMI) is at 6,89%.

This translates to roughly 73 seats for SP, which is enough for an outright majority in an 140-seat parliament. Democratic Party is projected to win 59 seats, SMI 5, and a small Social Democratic Party 3.

Edi Rama is posed to become the first person to win three consecutive parliamentary elections in Albania since the establishment of the multi-party system in 1991.

In its preliminary conclusions released yesterday, OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, which observed the elections, stated that voters had a choice of candidates, who were able to campaign freely.

It also stated that the ruling party derived significant advantage from its incumbency, including through its control of local administrations and from the misuse of administrative resources, which was amplified by positive coverage of state institutions in the media.

“Allegations of vote buying by political parties were pervasive during the campaign and a high number of investigations were opened in this regard. In a limited number of voting centres and counts observed, the process was largely transparent and smooth”, the report reads.

Rama asked socialists to gather in “Skanderbeg” square, together with the Patrons, coordinators, leaders and MPs of SP, Euronews Albania reports.

“Today at 18:00, in Skanderbeg square, the champions teams of patrons, coordinators, leaders, MPs and whoever wants to join us in embracing our win,” wrote Rama on Facebook.

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