The Socialist Party has withdrawn an earlier appeal seeking to void the results of the June 23 parliamentary elections in the electoral district of Lezha and hold a do-over election.
The Socialists’ chief legal adviser on election affairs, Damian Gjiknuri, said the party was withdrawing the appeal filed with the Electoral College, a judicial body with final say on election matters, in order not to delay the final national results and certification of the election. If it had been approved, the election do-over would have delayed the final result for weeks.
Gjiknuri added the Socialists still believe they have proof that the elections in Lezha failed to produce results that represent the will of the county’s voters. He added electoral fraud had taken place in the tows of Mamurras and Lac, and the Socialists would push for the prosecutions of those responsible.
The Socialists say they would have received at least 84 MPs nationally, should there have been a do-over election. They have 83 seats under the current results, one seat short of the three-fifths majority needed for many important reforms.
After the Socialists withdrew their appeal, Oerd Bylykbashi, a Democratic Party official, said the Socialists owed an apology to the people of Lezha County.
The Socialists and their allies won the July 23 general election in a landslide. But in an election that had otherwise gone smoothly – with the loser gracefully accepting defeat and the winner humbly celebrating victory – disputes, recounts and appeals in three northern countries have delayed the process of issuing the final election results. Now more than a month after the election, the complaints and appeals continue, delaying the official certification of the election.
Lezha is one of the smaller 12 counties in terms of population and representation in parliament, represented by only seven out of the total of 140 MPs. As the results stand now, the Democratic Party coalition has four seats in the county; the Socialists have three.