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Albanian parties argue over mayoral poll

Albanian parties argue over mayoral poll
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Albania’s opposition leader, Edi Rama has accused the ruling party of voting irregularities in mayoral elections.

It was just the first salvo between the two sides as they disagreed over whether the poll had met EU standards.

Prime Minister Sali Berisha insisted the vote had been free and fair. There were some incidents including an attack on a polling official but on the whole things went off smoothly.

Both sides are claiming victory but neither has held any celebrations.

Although only local elections, the procedure is being seen as a test of the volatile country’s stability and if it’s ready to apply for European Union candidate status.

Albania’s democracy is just 20 years old and is still trying to distance itself from its Communist past.

Last January four people were shot dead when anti-government demonstrations turned violent.