International community urges Albanian to speed up vote count.

By bne IntelliNews May 18, 2011
The international community has expressed concern over the delay in the release of the final results from the local elections held on May 8, 2011, the OSCE Presence in Tirana, US Ambassador Alexander Arvizu and EU officials said in a joint statement. Citizens want and deserve clarity regarding the election outcome... We expect both sides to exercise self-restraint and to fully respect the democratic process, the statement read. According to preliminary results, the opposition leader and three-times Tirana Mayor Edi Rama won the elections in the capital by a 10 vote margin. Rama was running against former interior minister Lulzim Basha, a candidate of the ruling Democratic Party. The Central Election Commission (CEC) said it is reconsidering some contested votes which could change the result in Tirana. The elections are the first political contest between the ruling Democratic Party of Berisha and Ramas Socialist Party after the June 2009 parliamentary elections won by Berisha by a small margin. Albania has been in a political stalemate since the opposition rejected to accept the results of the 2009 elections, accusing the Democratic Party of electoral fraud and demanding a recount. The crisis reached its peak in January when four people were killed and several injured in an anti-government protest in Tirana.

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