Albania’s ruling Socialist Party is winning the parliamentary election, held on Sunday, gaining about 50 percent of votes, the country’s Central Election Commission said after a relatively small amount of bulletins were counted.
According to the Commission, the Democratic Party has gained about 27 percent of votes.
A total of 18 parties are participating in the elections, with over 3 million voters registered and 5,300 polling stations set up across the country. The vote turnout was the lowest for over the last 25 years, as only 45 percent of registered voters came to the polling stations.
Observers say that such a low vote turnout may have been caused by Eid al-Fitr Muslim holiday, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, as well as by extremely hot weather in Albania.
According to reports, numerous violations were registered during the election with voters subjected to pressure and observers attacked. There were numerous attempts to bribe the voters and dozens of people have been detained, the Macedonian Press24 news portal reported.
An activist was reportedly wounded by a gunshot after a group of people attacked the man near a polling station in the town of Shengjin.
The leader of the Democratic Party, Lulzim Basha, has withdrawn observers from 30 polls as the voters were under pressure, and an observer from ruling Socialist Party was beaten by unknown people in front of a polling station in Albanian town of Elbasan.
A political party must gain 3 percent in order to get into the country’s 140-seat single-chamber parliament, while a coalition needs at least 5 percent of votes.