Albanians head to polls to elect new parliament

June 25, 2017



TIRANA : Albanian voters go to the polls on Sunday to elect a new parliament, with 18 political parties and groups vying for the 140 seats in the legislative body for a four-year term. 

According to the Central Elections Commission (CEC), there are 3,452,260 eligible voters, who are expected to cast their ballots at 5,362 polling stations across the country. 

However, the actual number of voters is expected to be far lower, since about a third of the people on the voters' list have emigrated, the CEC said. 

The polling booths opened at 7:00 a.m. local time (0500 GMT) and will stay open until 7:00 p.m. (1700 GMT). 

The major rivals in the election are the Socialist Party of Albania and the Socialist Movement for Integration of the ruling coalition and the main opposition Democratic Party of Albania.Prime Minister Edi Rama, leader of the Socialist Party, is seeking re-election and a parliamentary majority in the polls, by highlighting reforms he led to pave the way for launching within 2017 full European Union membership negotiations. 

The election will be administered by 90 zonal commissions of election administration (KZAZ), under the watchful eyes of around 6,000 domestic observers and some 330 international observers. 

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