The ruling Democrats of Prime Minister Sali Berisha have included in their list of candidates three former Socialist MPs who switched ranks ahead of the polls.
The defectors were key to securing a majority in parliament for the government, after the Socialist Movement for Integration, the former junior government partner, joined the opposition coalition in early April.
The Democrats have also included six chairmen of partner parties, like the leader of the Republicans, Fatmir Mediu, the head of the Agrarian Party, Lefter Xhuverli, the head of the Party of Justice Unity and Integration, Shpetim Idrizi, among others.
“The process of drafting the lists has ended up giving Albanian voters the best candidates that they have ever had,” said Berisha on Monday evening.
“It has been an open process with wide discussion, finalised with an excellent and winning list,” he added.
The 140 members of the Albanian parliament are elected for a four-year term. They are chosen through a regional proportional system, consisting of closed candidate lists in 12 multi-member districts which correspond to administrative regions. The number of seats per district ranges from four to 32, based on the number of citizens living in each.
The opposition Socialists also filed their 140-candidate list with the Central Electoral Commission on Monday evening.
Former economy minister Arben Malaj announced that he would run as an independent after being excluded from the Socialists’ list.
Meanwhile Socialist leader Edi Rama registered as a candidate in the region of Vlora.
“Our team continues the Socialist tradition of harmony between generations,” Rama said of the party’s new candidates.
“Generations pass the baton to one another without creating a schism,” he added.