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Observers say Albanian election 'partially' met international standards

Observers say Albanian election 'partially' met international standards
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Both sides are predicting victory in Albania even though delays in vote-counting have left the country in suspense after Sunday’s legislative election.

The vote came off without the violence and intimidation that marred the previous five elections since communism collapsed in 1990. In Lushnja, 80 kilometres south of the capital Tirana, two men were reportedly shot dead during celebrations by supporters of the opposition Democratic Party led by Sali Berisha, the former president. The killings are not thought to be politically motivated. Opinion polls had suggested the Democratic Party was neck and neck with the Socialist Party of Prime Minister Fatos Nano. Nano said the only winner would be Albania’s future in Europe. The European Union said it wanted to see an orderly ballot before signing an association agreement that would put Albania on the road to EU membership. Four international organisations monitoring the election concluded it ‘partially’ complied with international standards. EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana has called for claims of irregularities to be examined.