Socialists claim Albania win
Berisha's foes predict majority for centre-left coalition after emergency poll
Monday 30 June 1997
With only a fraction of official results declared it was impossible to forecast the final outcome, but Mr Nano told reporters that his party's data showed it had won 60 of 115 seats contested under majority voting rules and together with other leftist parties would hold a two-thirds majority in parliament.
"A centre-left coalition will control two-thirds of the new parliament for sure," Mr Nano said, adding that the Socialists stood to win half of 40 seats being contested under proportional rules.
Mr Nano, who was released from prison only three months ago, suggested that the two-thirds majority he expected - which would be sufficient to outvote or even remove Mr Berisha - meant the president should quit. "With those figures that are already confirmed and the support that the Albanian people gave the centre-left coalition, this problem is already resolved," he said.
Earlier, Mr Nano had claimed that there were "a lot of rats leaving the sinking ship". He added: "The only thing Berisha has left is his charisma, but I am more charismatic than he is. I have the president to thank for that, because he put me in prison for four years."
The official count has given the Socialists a handful of seats in the south, heartland of months of rebellion against Mr Berisha. The president's Democratic Party, also quoting its own data, said it had won 17 seats.
Earlier in the day as Albania, torn apart by months of political turmoil, economic collapse and gang violence, finally held its much-anticipated emergency elections, the whole country was in a nervous state of limbo. Barely a car ventured out on to the roads.
Bars and squares were eerily silent. The beaches were deserted, partly because of fears of snipers shooting from smugglers' boats. Even the police, which was supposed to be deployed at maximum strength across the country, abandoned checkpoints and vanished entirely from pollings stations and city streets.
Despite fears of mass violence, the election itself passed off in most places in an anxious hush, with only sporadic reports of shootings and armed attacks on voters. In towns like Lushnja, which saw rabid anti-government rioting earlier this year and a shoot-out at a presidential rally earlier this week, there were whispers in the few bars to stay open that the ruling Democratic Party was intimidating voters and that the result, in some polling stations, had been decided in advance.
One man died in a hand-grenade explosion, and there were bursts of Kalashnikov fire throughout the afternoon. "Everything is fine, absolutely fine," said one returning officer with suspicious insistence in his polling station, a disused funeral parlour.
In another polling station, seals were missing from ballot boxes and officials were overheard boasting about how much of the vote each party had been apportioned in advance.
In one area of the north-eastern part of the country, the Mat, voting was not possible because ballot papers had not been delivered, while in another, Merdita, voters were kept off the streets by armed gangs controlled by the right-wing Republican Party.
Even in more relaxed towns like Kavaja, not all was well. One of two vote-counting centres had been abandoned by officials of all parties except the Democratic Party, which spoke confidently of the re-election of its candidate, the party chairman Tritan Shehu.
The most normal place was the capital, Tirana, where the only upsets were over minor details of voter registration.
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 5 'Hello mum, this is going to be hard for you to read ...'
Sally Farmiloe dead: Howards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, dies aged 60
Russell Brand accuses FOX News anchor Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness – including don’t try to convert other people
Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
Justin Bieber posts Instagram photo of Orlando Bloom crying after Ibiza fight 'over Miranda Kerr'
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
- < Previous
- Next >
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...
£45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: PHP Develope...