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Democrats officially declared winners in Albanian election

On 2 September, Albania's Central Election Commission declared former President Sali Berisha's Democratic Party the winner of the 3 July parliamentary elections, Reuters reported.
The delay in announcing the Democrats' victory was due to the need to clarify numerous complaints and conduct a new vote in three constituencies. President Alfred Moisiu called the first session of the new legislature, in which the Democrats and their allies will have 80 out of 140 seats, for 2 September. Following the commission's announcement, outgoing Prime Minister Fatos Nano formally conceded defeat and resigned as chairman of the Socialist Party. He nonetheless called the election results "politically unacceptable" and blamed "electoral violence and illegitimate winners" for his ouster.
Berisha called Nano a sore loser, adding that the two-month delay in finalizing the election results is probably without precedent in Europe. He noted that the controversial 2000 U.S. presidential election took less time -- 36 days -- to resolve than the latest vote in Albania, a much smaller country.

(RFE/RL 02.ix.05)

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