Albania’s left-wing Socialist Party has secured a second mandate in a general election, winning a majority of seats in parliament, election results showed Tuesday. The election was seen as a key benchmark in the country’s bid to launch membership negotiations with the European Union. The Central Election Commission said that with all the ballots counted, the governing Socialists of Prime Minister Edi Rama had won 74 places in the 140-seat parliament.
Thousands of Socialist supporters gathered at Tirana’s recently renovated Skanderbeg Square to celebrate the victory.
“These results will bring us closer to the accession talks with the European Union, which we expect to be commenced by the end of this year,” Rama told the crowd.
The previous government was a coalition of the Socialists and the Socialist Movement for Integration, or LSI, often creating problems for Rama.