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Albania: Socialist Leader Cancels Election Tour

Tirana, 25 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - The leader of Albania's main opposition Socialist party canceled a last minute campaign swing today to the pro-ruling party city of Shkodra.

A spokesman for Socialist leader Fatos Nano said he canceled the campaign trip due to last minute commitments in Tirana. The cancellation followed articles yesterday in newspapers close to the ruling party which called Nano's trip a "provocation."

Meanwhile, another opposition politician today warned that southern rebel-held parts of southern Albania may not accept a ruling party win in Sunday's general elections.

Socialist candidate Gramo Ruci, speaking in the southern town of Sarande, said that if the Democratic Party of President Sali Berisha wins the "Albanian tragedy will continue."

The last minute campaigning comes as Albanian prepares to go to the polls Sunday to elect a new parliament. Berisha is not up for re-election but correspondents say the vote is seen by many Albanians as a referendum on Berisha's five years in office.