Saturday, June 4, 2011

Albanian opposition calls for international help on alleged manipulation of poll results

TIRANA, Albania — Albania's opposition Socialist party has called for international assistance to help resolve a dispute over the mayoral race in Tirana, the capital.

Opposition leader Edi Rama has denounced as "absolutely unacceptable" the verdict of Albania's top electoral court that upheld the victory of the governing party's candidate, former interior minister Lulzim Basha, in the May 8 race.

Rama said "international expertise is the only possibility ... not to further deepen the crisis," and threatened to meet the decision with "unprecedented resistance."

The opposition had appealed electoral authorities' decision to add ballots cast in the wrong boxes in the final tally, giving Basha 81 votes more than Rama, who in the initial count had been ahead by 10 votes.

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