Albania PM inches ahead in vote count: commission

TIRANA – Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha’s centre-right coalition held a slender lead Wednesday in the latest tally of votes after general elections, the electoral commission said.

The alliance led by Berisha’s Democratic Party had garnered 46.81 percent of votes against 45.42 percent for a coalition headed by Tirana Mayor Edi Rama’s Socialist Party, commission spokesman Leonard Olli told a media conference. 

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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