Albania’s Central Elections Commission has finished its recount of all ballots in Lezha County, increasing the number of votes allocated to the Democrats, but not changing the earlier results in terms of mandate distribution.
A special counting team set up by CEC recounted everyone of Lezha’s more than 81,000 cast ballots. They found the Democratic-led coalition had secured about 800 votes more than the Socialist-led coalition. The findings marked a change from the thin margin of just 39 votes in the prior count, but did not alter the latest mandate distribution that saw the Democratic-led coalition get four MPs in the county, followed by the Socialist-led coalition with three.
Nonetheless, the findings fueled angry remarks by the Democrats, who despite accepting their landslide loss earlier in the election are now saying the leftist coalition resorted to dirty tricks to get more votes.
The Socialists had objected the recounts, arguing the security of the storage chain for the ballot boxes was in question. They have appealed to the Electoral College, a judicial body with final say, to stop the recount.
The final results for Lezha are expected to take place today, and the counting teams are expected to start a recount of the neighboring Shkodra County, where the CEC also ordered a recount.
However, the Socialists had also made their own request for a voter list verification with the Interior Ministry, claiming that 156 people who showed up as voters were not in Albania at the time.