Albania’s Central Election Commission has decided in favor of a complaint by the Democratic Party, ruling that preliminary results were wrong in the northern Lezha County and a seat earlier awarded to the Socialists should be given to the Democrats instead. The ruling brings the total numbers in parliament to 83-57 in favor of the Socialist-led coalition.
The ruling came after the Democrats’ lawyers at the commission argued there were irregularities with the tables of results from some of the voting centers, which had been handed in photocopies rather than original documents.
All four CEC members voted in favor of the request. All four are nominees of the Democratic Party-led coalition as the Socialists and their allies boycotted the commission following a political row ahead of the elections.
The decision came with strong debate among legal representatives, and lawyers for the Socialist-led coalition who are expected to appeal the decision to the Electoral College, a judicial body with final authority on appeals.
If it stands, the decision is significant because it would mean the next government would not have the 84 seats that make up the three-fifths qualified majority in parliament required for key reforms.
There were earlier reports that Njazi Kosovrasti, a legal representatives for the Democrats, had received life threats after bringing the Lezha case to CEC. Police said they have launched an investigation and taken him under protection.