The Socialist Party-led coalition, which achieved a landslide victory in Albania’s June 23 general elections, accepts the victory with humility and is ready to work hard to meet challenges ahead, the coalition leader and prime minister nominee, Edi Rama, said in his victory speech.
He said the Socialists, working with coalition partners, are ready to implement their program, dubbed “Renaissance,” which aims to make the Albanian economy recover through free competition and fair taxation, reform the education and health systems and strengthen democracy.
“I will be your prime minister and your chief servant,” Rama told a crowd of supporters in front of the Socialist Party headquarters on Tuesday evening when the opposition Socialist Party coalition had consolidated its victory after more than 90 percent of nationwide ballots had already been counted. ”Today, you, the people of Albania, decided to charge me and our national Renaissance team together and inseparably with our strategic partners of the Socialist Movement for Integration and other allies, this great responsibility,” said Rama.
The opposition leader also thanked outgoing Prime Minister Sali Berisha for the good things he has achieved and expressed regret about the negatives rhetoric in the campaign.
“It has happened that I have said unpleasant things about my predecessor [Premier Berisha], as he has done with me. This happens in the political battle but more often in undeveloped democracies like ours. But tonight I want to thank him (Berisha) for every good thing that maybe history can assess tomorrow with a greater impartiality than mine, and wish him all the best in his private life,” said Rama.
With around 97 percent of ballots already counted on Wednesday morning, the opposition Socialist Party-led coalition has consolidated its landslide victory to 84-85 MPs, which means around three-fifths of the 140-seat Albanian Parliament, gaining a qualified majority needed to implement many important reforms.
While the the last ballot boxes are being counted, Prime Minister Sali Berisha is expected to come out in a news conference where he will concede defeat after serving as prime minister in two consecutive mandates for eight years.
It is not known if Prime Minister Berisha will step down as head of the Democratic Party which he has led for more than 20 years and pave the way to Lulzim Basha, the current Tirana mayor, who is seen as Berisha’s chosen successor in the Democratic Party.