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An Overview of the Election Outcome
The parliamentary election in 2021 saw the election of 140 representatives via a regional list voting system for a term of four years. The election took place in twelve constituencies corresponding to Albania’s various administrative regions (Qarks). The number of seats depended on the population size of the respective Qark. Ten parties, two majority party lists and five independent candidates were permitted to vote, with 1851 people having run for a post and 732 of which were women.
According to the preliminary results of the Central Election Commission (KQZ)1, 3,588,869 Albanians were eligible to vote. 1,662,253 of whom participated in the vote, which corresponds to a voter turnout of 46.32 per cent.2 The Socialist Party (SP) received 768,177 votes (48.68 per cent), the Democratic Party – Alliance for Change (DP-AC) 622,234 votes (39.43 per cent), the Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI) 107,522 votes (6.81 per cent) and the Social Democratic Party (PSD) 35,476 votes (2.25 per cent). These parties will enter the new parliament. All other parties and
individual candidates did not manage to exceed the one per cent threshold. It is interesting to note the high number of 83,028 invalid votes. This constitutes five per cent of the total votes cast, and therefore well above the number during the last vote (two per cent). Many observers mainly blame this on the new ballot paper, which did not indicate the names of candidates for preferential votes, but merely numbers. This may have caused confusion among many voters.
Owing to the allocation of votes, the SP received 74 parliamentary seats, the DP 59 seats, the LSI four seats and the PSD three seats. Moreover, the PSD has already announced their intention to vote with the SP to ensure the latter would gain a comfortable majority in the new parliament (absolute majority from 71 seats).
If we make a comparison with the last elections in 2017, the SP were able to retain both their percentage of votes and the number of seats in parliament. The DP, which in February 2019 had returned their mandates in the former parliament following a discovery of a vote-buying scandal involving the SP, were still able to gain ground. In 2017, they only received 29.1 per cent of the votes and 43 parliamentary seats.
The current result is therefore tantamount to an increase of 10.2 percentage points or 16 parliamentary seats. The LSI is without doubt the big loser in this election. During the last election, it had achieved 14.4 per cent and thus 19 seats. This meant a loss of 7.56 percentage points or 15 parliamentary seats. The PSD increased their percentage of votes from 0.7 per cent to 2.24 per cent, or from one to three parliamentary seats.
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