Albanians vote amid wide political divide

Albanians voted Sunday in a parliamentary election amid the pandemic, opposition allegations of official corruption and a bitter rivalry between the country’s two largest political parties.

Some 3.6 million eligible voters, including Albanians overseas, were electing 140 lawmakers among 1,841 candidates from 17 political parties or coalitions, along with some running independently. No early or postal voting was allowed and people infected with COVID-19 cannot vote.

Following the approval of electoral reforms last year, a new voters’ electronic identification, a partial depoliticizing of the electoral commission and a pilot project on full digitalization of the voting and counting process are being applied. The hope is that post-communist Albania’s 10th parliamentary election will be free and fair. To date, voting always has been marred by irregularities.

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Source: Associated Press – LLAZAR SEMINI