Albania PM to stay as Socialists win vote

·1-min read

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama's ruling Socialist Party has won the parliamentary election in Albania, taking 49 per cent of the vote, the election commission says.

He is now set for a third straight term in office with 74 seats out of 140, with 94 per cent of the votes counted.

Rama, who has repeatedly promised government improvements as the country battles an inefficient bureaucracy, corruption and high emigration, has tended towards an authoritarian style during his eight years as prime minister.

The opposition Democratic Party won 39 per cent of the votes and 59 seats while its ally, the Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI), won seven per cent of the vote and four seats.

The Social Democratic Party of businessman Tom Doshi also made it into the new parliament.

With two per cent of the vote, it won three seats.

Rama's ruling party has managed to maintain both its share of the vote and its number of seats compared to the last election in 2017.

The national-conservative Democratic Party increased its share of the vote by 10 percentage points and its number of seats by 16.

The clear loser is the LSI, headed by Monika Kryemadhi, the wife of President Ilir Meta.

Its share of the vote halved and it lost 12 seats.

Albania was a Stalinist dictatorship until the early 1990s.

Since then, the country has changed fundamentally and a market economy has taken hold.

In 2009, it became a member of NATO.

Last year, Albania received the green light for the start of EU accession talks.