The Albanian Central Electoral Commission (CEC) should announce today the victory of the ruling party's candidate, Lulzim Basha, in Tirana, following a recount of the disputed votes.
The controversial recount in the race as mayor of Tirana gave Basha an advantage of 81 votes on a quarter of a million on the outgoing mayor and the opposition leader Edi Rama, who had a thin margin of only ten votes in the unofficial results, before were of the addition of the disputed cards. CEC decided on the May 18 with a vote of 4-3 to include the ballot papers of the different polling stations that had been placed in the wrong ballot boxes in the final count. The decision comes four days after the counting initially closed where observers awaited the announcement of preliminary results, which put Rama ahead.
The socialists contest the recount of the lost cards as illegal, and they said they will use all the legal videos to oppose the decision of the CEC to count the disputed cards, while the socialist party has called for mass protests.
The dispute of the ballots took place because the voters sometimes failed to put the cards in the correct ballot boxes, also because the cards were not clearly distinguishable from the color.
The Electoral College, a specialized court for examining disputes in the elections, will issue a decision on the validity of the recount within five days of the appeal.
According to a report by the OSCE / ODIHR observer mission published last Friday, the legal bases of the CEC for the opening of the polls was not clear. The controversial decision of the CEC is to also count the cards that ended up in the wrong ballot boxes, that of the municipal councilors, and therefore to declare them valid. The Albanian law is not very clear on the subject, but the CEC itself, at first, had considered these invalid cards. "The electoral law does not directly regulate the validity of the ballot papers found in a ballot box other than the corresponding one, nor does it provide for any conciliation procedure between the ballots found in other boxes, it expressed in its ODIHR report.
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