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Albania: Opposition Concedes Defeat In Local Elections

Tirana, 21 October 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Albanian Socialist Party leader Namik Dokle today conceded defeat to the Democratic Party of President Sali Berisha in local elections over the weekend.

DPA news agency reports that preliminary results show the Democrats winning over 57 percent of the 64 contested town halls, and almost half of the 320 contested communes throughout the country.

Dokle said the results are "not positive" for his opposition Socialists.

DPA reports that the Socialists have so far won in only three townhalls and several communes, but final results are not expected until mid-week.

The elections were closely watched by the international community as a test of the democratic process in Albania after flawed general elections earlier this year.