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Democrats lead in Albania

Democrats lead in Albania
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The ruling Democrats seem poised for victory in Albania, after an election both the government and the opposition said was fair. American pollsters say Prime Minister Sali Berisha’s party is on track to win 69 seats, short of an overall majority but ahead of the 55 projected for the Socialists.

The official results are expected later today, but Berisha, who has also been President, appeared confident of a new Prime Ministerial term. In his manifesto he had promised EU membership and ways of tackling a looming recession. Over at Socialist party headquarters, the mood was more muted. Leader Edi Rama, also the Mayor of Tirana, agreed the election had been largely trouble-free, and said that boosted Albania’s chances of EU membership. Brussels had warned that any repeat of Albania’s recent chaotic elections would put the brakes on accession talks, but most observers said the process was generally fair.