Albania's Socialists end boycott of legislature

Albania's opposition Socialist Party, which controls nearly half of parliament's seats, is poised to end a six-month long boycott of the legislature.

Albania's Socialists end boycott of legislature

Albania's opposition Socialist Party, which controls nearly half of parliament's seats, is poised to end a six-month long boycott of the legislature on Thursday, but warned it may walk out again.

The Socialists want a probe of some ballots cast during last year's election which handed victory to the Democratic Party of Prime Minister Sali Berisha.

"The Socialist Party and its parliamentary group will go to parliament to take the oath of office and present two draft laws to set up a commission to make the full transparency of the June 28 elections," senior Socialist Namik Dokle told reporters.

The Socialists say they recognize the election result and do not want a recount, but insist on an investigation as part of a way to improve electoral standards.

The Socialists' absence has held up numerous laws, including many needed to align legislation to the EU which cannot pass because they require a three-fifths majority.

The Socialists move coincides with the approach of a deadline for their 64 MPs to take the oath of office or risk having their mandate scrapped. The Democrats have 70 seats in the 140-seat chamber and govern with help from a small ally.

Dokle promised public protests in March if the ballot issue was not resolved.

"We enter parliament not to come out of it, but also not to stay there if the transparency of the elections is not guaranteed."

There was no immediate comment from the Democratic Party.

Berisha has previously said the vote was the fairest since communism ended in 1990 and the ballot boxes would not be re-examined as doing so would contravene appeal court rulings that have reviewed the issue.

Reuters

Last Mod: 26 Şubat 2010, 08:17
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