Khaleej Times

Albania votes with EU talks in mind

- Reuters

tirana — Albanians were voting in a parliament­ary election on Sunday with the ruling Socialists and rival Democrats seeking a majority to push through judicial reforms vital for membership of the European Union.

The race pits Socialist Prime Minister Edi Rama against the centre-right Democratic Party of Lulzim Basha. Neither party won the 70 seats needed for a majority in the 2013 or 2009 election.

Polls opened at 7am (0500 GMT) on what is forecast to be the hottest day of the year so far with temperatur­es reaching 39 degrees Celsius. They close at 7pm.

The elderly and the young were up early to vote when polling stations opened in Tirana, to avoid the heat or to head to the beach after voting. Turnout at 1pm was 27.28 per cent. —

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