The Albanian Central Election Commission has unveiled the schedule for the mayoral by-elections of 6 March.
President Ilir Meta announced on Thursday (20 January) that mayoral by-elections for six municipalities will take place in early March. These are the municipalities of Vorë, Dibër, Shkodër, Lushnjë, Rrogozhinë and Durrës.
Political parties will have until 31 January to register, while individual candidates must submit their candidacy by 9 February.
The CEC decreed that the electoral campaign will start on 19 February, rejecting the Democratic Party’s (PD) request for a 7 February start. The parties will have only two weeks to undertake their campaigns.
The head of the Albanian CEC has accepted Lulzim Basha as official leader of the Democratic Party, meaning that the candidates proposed by former Prime Minister Sali Berisha will have to run as independents or as candidates of another party.
Last week, the Provisional Committee of the Democratic Party (PD) under the auspices of Berisha has announced they will be holding primaries to select their candidates for the 6 March mayoral by-elections.
This decision may divide PD voters and make it easier for the Edi Rama’s Socialist majority to do a clean sweep of all six seats, including the historically PD bastion of Shkodra.