Prime Minister Edi Rama wins third mandate in Albanian elections

Prime Minister Edi Rama warned on Sunday of increasing fuel and energy prices that will bring about “shocking consequences” for Albanians during the winter. [EPA-EFE/JOHN THYS]

Albania’s ruling Socialist Party (SP), led by Prime Minister Edi Rama, has won Sunday’s election with 48% of the vote, handing the party  74 seats in the 140-seat parliament, the same number of seats the party won in the previous election.

It was the “most difficult but sweetest election victory. We have broken the record,” PM Rama told thousands of his flag-waving supporters in Skenderbeg Square in Tirana. “Thank you for the trust you have given me in my third term,” he added.

“My dream is to make Albania in this decade the Balkan champion, in tourism and agro-tourism, in energy and agriculture and in fast, qualitative, incorruptible digital services,” Rama said. 

Democratic Party (DP), led by Lulzim Basha, came second with 39% of the vote, which gave them 59 MPs.  In third place came the Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI) with 6.8% and four seats. Two members of DP leadership called for Basha’s resignation as party chairman. 

The Social-Democratic Party received 2% of the vote, or 3 mandates. It was led by Tom Doshi who is on the US “blacklist” due to allegations of “significant corruption”, but he resigned before the counting of ballots started. It is expected that those three MPs will support Rama. 

According to the preliminary conclusions of the International Election Observation Mission (IEOM) published on Tuesday, “the ruling party (SP) derived significant advantage from its incumbency, including through its control of local administrations and from the misuse of administrative resources.” 

“This 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,” the preliminary conclusions added.

(Željko Trkanjec | EURACTIV.hr)

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