Local elections in Albania

Albania held the local elections for 61 new municipalities in June 21, 2015.  The results of the elections would be 61 Mayors and local councils leading now the new expanded local government units.  The voting day and the counting process went smoothly, although there were claims form both political parties on irregularities on the voters’ lists and claimed manipulation of the voters.  Such claims are currently being reviewed by the Central Election Commission and this far it has not changes the results for any of the new municipalities.

The political parties paid attention to the candidates to run for Mayors, where the most interesting choice remains Tirana.  The left wing candidate was a young politician, former Minister of Social Affairs, with a vivid political career whereas the right wing candidate was a well known Doctor, recently involved in politics with a high reputation among Tirana’s citizens and proved managerial skills.  The vote went to Erion Veliaj, the candidate coming from the majority.

The electoral campaign was not focused all the time on local issues with political leaders bringing up issues of a national nature.  More should have been said and discussed about candidates’ vision on the future of new municipalities.  In total, out of 61, 46 municipalities will have a Mayor coming from the left coalition and the remaining of 15 will be leaded form Mayors of right coalition although these are still the preliminary results to be certified by the Election Commission.

The Mayors and council will now enter the implementation phase of the territorial reform, a complex process requiring a lot of commitment and technical input.  The following two years would be crucial to the consolidation of the new municipalities and further decentralization.