Socialists' Erion Veliaj elected Tirana mayor

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 26, 2015 11:00

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  • Democrats' Halim Kosova admits defeat, congratulates opponent

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rion Veliaj, a 35-year-old former civil society activist and the previous welfare affairs minister, declared victory Tuesday. (Photo: Tirana Times/Veliaj campaign handout)

Erion Veliaj, a 35-year-old former civil society activist and the previous welfare affairs minister, declared victory Tuesday. (Photo: Veliaj Campaign)

TIRANA, June 24 - Erion Veliaj of the governing Socialist Party has been elected Tirana’s new mayor by a comfortable margin in Sunday's election, official results show.

Veliaj's victory in Tirana, where nearly one in three Albanians live, was the crown jewel for the Socialist Party-led coalition of Prime Minister Edi Rama, which also won 45 out of 61 municipalities across the country.

Veliaj won 53.6 percent of the vote, while Kosova received 38.9 percent of the vote, according to CEC data, with all votes counted.

Veliaj, a 35-year-old former civil society activist and the previous welfare affairs minister, declared victory Tuesday.

"Instead of celebrating, let's roll up our sleeves ... and take the city in the right direction,” Veliaj told supporters on the lawn of the Socialist Party headquarters.

Veliaj’s chief rival, Halim Kosova of the Democratic Party, conceded defeat, congratulated the new mayor and urged Veliaj to keep the pledges he made during the campaign.

There were three other candidates in the race, including Gjergj Bojaxhi, an Albanian American economist who received about 16,000 votes, or 5.4 percent of the electorate.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 26, 2015 11:00