Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Albanian socialists charge more votes than voters in contested election win; vote annulled

TIRANA, Albania — Albania's top electoral court has annulled the governing party's marginal election win in the capital, Tirana, after the main opposition Socialists said there were more votes than voters.

In a brief statement late Monday, the court said it "partially" accepted the appeal. It instructed electoral authorities to reconsider all contested votes or those cast in the wrong boxes in the May 8 poll and add them to the final count.

Last month, the Democrats' Lulzim Basha was declared victor by 81 votes after authorities included ballots cast in the wrong boxes. An initial count had awarded victory to Socialist leader Edi Rama, by 10 votes.

It is unclear when a final ruling will be issued. Albania has been gripped by a political crisis for almost two years.

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