Albanian PM's centre-right claims election win

2nd July 2009, Comments 0 comments

However, the main opposition alliance headed by the Socialist Party accused the centre-right coalition of election fraud.

Tirana -- Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha's centre-right coalition claimed victory Wednesday after closely fought weekend legislative elections contested by the left-wing opposition.

"The Democratic Party and the Alliance for Change won the parliamentary elections on Sunday," Majlinda Bregu, the spokeswoman for Berisha's Democrats, told a media conference.

"The party now has a second mandate for the next four years," said Brega, according to whom the centre-right coalition had secured 71 places in the 140-seat parliament.

However the main opposition alliance headed by the Socialist Party accused the Democrats of election fraud.

"The Democratic Party is in the process of manipulating the victory of the Socialist Party," the latter's spokesman Ditmer Bushati said.

"The Democratic Party doesn't have the 71 mandates... it owes that to fraud at the expense of the Socialists," Bushati added, vowing the opposition would not back down.

"We are gathering all information confirming the manipulation of the results and we will not allow this process to be terminated until all fraud and manipulation" was revealed, he said.

The electoral commission announced earlier Wednesday that the centre-right won 46.81 percent of votes against 45.42 for the opposition headed by Tirana Mayor Edi Rama.

Trailing the two main rival coalitions was former Prime Minister Ilir Meta's centre-left Socialist Party for Integration with 5.59 percent.

The figures were based on 98.2 percent of all the ballots cast in Sunday's legislative elections, which won cautious praise from European observers on Monday.

The polls were considered crucial for the Muslim-majority Balkan state's hopes of winning candidacy status for the European Union after it joined NATO in April.


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