Albania’s ruling Socialist Party secured 49.4% of votes in Sunday’s parliamentary election, the state election commission said on Monday on the basis of 30% votes counted.
The opposition Democratic Party came second with 38.8% of the vote, while the Socialist Integration Movement was third with 7.1% of voters’ backing.
If the Socialists led by Edi Rama win more than 50% of votes, they will be able to govern alone as they did in the previous mandate. The election commission will announce the final results on Tuesday.
Albania, which has a population of 2.8 million but 3.6 million voters due to its large diaspora, has a history of violence and allegations of election fraud in the three decades since the end of communism.
A Socialist Party supporter was killed on Wednesday and four people were injured during a shootout following a dispute between Socialist and Democratic Party supporters.
Albania was granted European Union candidate status in 2014, but has made little progress, mainly because of failure to implement reforms and due to enlargement fatigue within the EU.
The Balkan country, in which corruption and organised crime are widespread, is accused by the United States of being a major source of marijuana production and other drug shipments.