Albania’s governing Democrats top vote count

TIRANA, Albania – Preliminary results from Albania’s weekend parliamentary elections show the governing Democrats have won.

But it is not clear whether Prime Minister Sali Berisha has secured the number of seats in parliament needed to govern on his own.

With 98 percent of ballot boxes counted Wednesday, the Democratic Party had 48.01 percent, to the 44.25 percent of Tirana Mayor Edi Rama’s Socialists.

According to preliminary results issued by the Central Election Commission, the leftist SAI coalition came third with 5.5 percent.

Unofficial calculations show the Democrats to have won 70 of Parliament’s 140 seats-one short of the 71 they need to govern without forming a coalition.

Sunday’s ballot was seen as a crucial test for Albania’s ambitions to join the European Union.

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