- Citizens of Albania elected a new parliament.
- According to preliminary forecasts, the ruling Socialists were performing the best, with 46.9% of the vote.
- The opposition Democratic Party won 43.5 percent of the vote.
If the Socialists win, Prime Minister Edi Rama, 56, will likely begin his third term in office. He ruled the small Balkan nation for eight years. Official results should be available on Monday.
The vast majority of horsepower is on vibrating feet
Even if the Socialist Party is in the lead, it remains uncertain whether it can continue to maintain an absolute majority in parliament. The vote of 46.9 percent, according to post-election polls, will give Prime Minister Edi Rama’s party a slim majority of 71 seats in the 140-member parliament. But certainty – in light of the results of the Socialist Party of the rival United Opposition – is given only after the votes have been fully counted.
The Democratic Party, which ranks second in opinion polls in by-elections, has joined forces with several smaller parties. In particular, the Partner Socialist Movement for Integration (SLI) could get around 6.9% of the vote. In total votes from DB and SLI, absolute majorities cannot be disqualified before counting.
Voter turnout is significantly higher than it was four years ago
By 3 p.m. Sunday, 38 percent of the nearly 3.6 million eligible voters had cast their ballots, according to the Tirana’s Central Election Commission. The turnout was ten percentage points higher than in the last elections four years ago at the same time. At that time, voter turnout of 45 percent at the end of Election Day represented a historic low.
A deeply divided country
The small Balkan nation is deeply divided politically, and the warring camps deny why each other exists. The opposition accuses Rama of rigging the elections, corruption and involvement in crimes. Parliament has been boycotting for more than two years.
Their participation in the parliamentary elections came as a result of a rare compromise between the two camps that led to the reform of the election law. By employing techniques such as biometric voter identification, this ensures that electoral fraud and vote buying are being fought off. Intensively mediated by diplomats from the European Union and the United States during the negotiations.
Democracy is a sport without spectators, in which everyone participates and everyone kicks their own penalty.
The top candidates had instilled confidence and optimism on Election Day. “Today is a wonderful day,” said Rama as he cast his vote. “Democracy is a sport without spectators, in which everyone participates and everyone takes a penalty shootout.” Chairman of the PD Pasha made a similar statement: “Today is Democracy Day. Come all over and make the change with your voice!”