TIRANA, Albania, June 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
The following is a statement by Socialist Party Leader and Prime Minister Edi Rama, commenting on the release of election results indicating that his party has won an outright parliamentary majority in Sunday's elections:
First of all, I would like to thank all Albanians who went to the polling stations. I am grateful to all the people who voted for the SP, but let me also thank all citizens who participated in this fundamental democratic exercise. If you voted, for any of the parties, you contributed to a stronger Albania. Sunday's official turnout of nearly 45% actually means that almost 75% of voters resident in Albania -- 1.6 million out of 2.1 million voting age residents -- participated. That is a figure which should encourage all of us.
I wish also to note that campaigning was conducted peacefully and with remarkably little rancour, compared with campaigns of the past. It was the calmest campaign in my memory. Ideas were tested, not people's patience.
Albanians have made a clear choice. They have demonstrated that they want reform of the justice system and vetting, and therefore they have voted strongly for our European path. I hope the agreement the leader of the opposition and I signed on May 18 setting aside our differences and removing obstacles to the election taking place will now help guide us further along this path.
This was a vote for competence and responsibility, for those who can do as well as make promises. After our first term, much remains to be done, and we plan to get back to work immediately, to continue reforms, and to expand the economy and create jobs.
I want to send a firm message to all our foreign partners. Albanians have said, in large numbers, what they want: Good government, corruption-free government, progressive government, fair government. Albanians have said they wish above all to be part of the European family. These results will bring us closer to the accession talks with the European Union which we expect to be commenced by the end of this year.
Together, Albanians have demonstrated to the world that democracy is thriving in our nation, and the will of the people can find expression through the ballot box. Yes, there were reports of irregularities and disagreements, but I fully expect that the thousands of official election observers assigned to monitor the vote will conclude that overall these elections were free and fair.
The time for conflict and rivalry is over. Now, as a nation and as political leaders, we need to seek unity of purpose to continue our nation building for a better future for all.
Allow me now to thank my colleagues in the Socialist Party for all their work and enthusiasm during this difficult campaign. I would say to them all: You did it! Where no-one but we believed we could do it, we succeeded.
About the Socialist Party of Albania
The Socialist Party of Albania, led by PM Edi Rama, is a social democratic political party which came to power in 2013 pledging extensive institutional reform and a stronger economy. As a result of the government reforms, the nation's budget deficit has been reduced substantially, tax revenues have risen dramatically and restored confidence in the economy has led to a 10.5% rise in foreign direct investment and 3.6% GDP growth in 2016.
The Socialist Party of Albania is an associate of the Party of European Socialists (PES) and a member of the Socialist International.
SOURCE Socialist Party of Albania