WORLD

Albania begins voting in snap general election

ALBANIA BEGINS VOTING IN SNAP GENERAL ELECTION

Albania's electorate heads to the polls Sunday in a snap parliamentary contest after nearly three months of protest and parliamentary boycott of the opposition in the country.

The snap election was decided after Albanian Prime Minister and Socialist Party (PS) President Edi Rama and opposition leader and Democratic Party (PD) President Lulzim Basha reached and agreement on May 18.

Nearly 3.5 million voters will select the new government from among 18 political parties, while there are no coalitions.

A total of 140 MPs will be elected to parliament from 2,666 candidates for the next four years.

Voters will cast ballots between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. local time (0500-1700GMT).

The Socialist Party of Albania (PS), the main party of the current government coalition under Prime Minister Edi Rama, chose Rama as their candidate for prime minister and carried out their campaign with the slogan "For Albania We Love".

At the election congress in May, the action plan announced by PS included 220,000 new jobs, support for agriculture and public funding for free health care.

Meanwhile, the main opposition party the Democratic Party of Albania (PD) under the slogan of "New Republic, a strong economy, a solid tomorrow" promises the cancellation of the higher education law which caused controversy in the country.

PD's candidate for prime minister is Lulzim Basha.

Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI), whose candidate is Petrit Vasili, promises 170,000 new jobs in industries such as agriculture, tourism and infrastructure during their tenure.

Preliminary results are expected to start coming in around midnight.

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