Albania’s Socialist Party, which won June 23 general elections plans to form government in September with its chairman, Edi Rama, heading a Cabinet that pledged to end the flat tax and expand state health care.
Rama’s Socialists and three smaller allied parties won at least 84 seats in the Balkan nation’s 140-seat parliament, defeating a coalition led by Premier Sali Berisha’s Democrats, which secured 53 seats, said Endri Fuga, the Socialists’ communications director, in a phone interview.
“The state Election Commission is yet to confirm the exact numbers, but the results are based on 99.9 percent of ballots counted,” Fuga said in Tirana after Berisha conceded defeat yesterday and announce he will step down as the leader of the Democratic Party.
Berisha’s defeat ends his eight-year-long premiership, during which he took the former communist country into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and pushed for the development of ravaged infrastructure. Rama is a former mayor of the capital and in the past accused Berisha of obstructing fair elections.
Rama will enjoy a “comfortable majority” in parliament and plans to deliver his election promises to change the income tax rate from a single 10 percent, Fuga said. The rate will be reduced for lower-income citizens and raised for salaries above 1,500 euros a month, he said.
State-provided health care will be extended to unemployed citizens, who account for 30 percent of Albania’s workforce, Fuga said. The official jobless rate is 16 percent, he said.
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