World

Albania counts ballots from local elections, leftist majority ahead in most cities

  • Officials at a polling station in capital Tirana count the ballots of the local municipal elections considered a key step toward convincing the European Union to launch membership negotiations with Albania, after the country was granted candidate status last year Monday, June 22, 2015. Preliminary results show the leftist majority is ahead in most of the country’s municipalities, including the capital Tirana and the main cities.(AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)

    Officials at a polling station in capital Tirana count the ballots of the local municipal elections considered a key step toward convincing the European Union to launch membership negotiations with Albania, after the country was granted candidate status last year Monday, June 22, 2015. Preliminary results show the leftist majority is ahead in most of the country’s municipalities, including the capital Tirana and the main cities.(AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)  (The Associated Press)

  • Officials at a polling station in capital Tirana count the ballots of the local municipal elections considered a key step toward convincing the European Union to launch membership negotiations with Albania, after the country was granted candidate status last year Monday, June 22, 2015. Preliminary results show the leftist majority is ahead in most of the country’s municipalities, including the capital Tirana and the main cities.(AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)

    Officials at a polling station in capital Tirana count the ballots of the local municipal elections considered a key step toward convincing the European Union to launch membership negotiations with Albania, after the country was granted candidate status last year Monday, June 22, 2015. Preliminary results show the leftist majority is ahead in most of the country’s municipalities, including the capital Tirana and the main cities.(AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)  (The Associated Press)

  • Officials at a polling station in capital Tirana count the ballots of the local municipal elections considered a key step toward convincing the European Union to launch membership negotiations with Albania, after the country was granted candidate status last year Monday, June 22, 2015. Preliminary results show the leftist majority is ahead in most of the country’s municipalities, including the capital Tirana and the main cities.(AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)

    Officials at a polling station in capital Tirana count the ballots of the local municipal elections considered a key step toward convincing the European Union to launch membership negotiations with Albania, after the country was granted candidate status last year Monday, June 22, 2015. Preliminary results show the leftist majority is ahead in most of the country’s municipalities, including the capital Tirana and the main cities.(AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)  (The Associated Press)

Preliminary results in Albania's municipal elections show the country's leftist majority is ahead in most municipalities, including the capital Tirana and other main cities.

About one-third of the ballots from Sunday's election have been counted so far. Albanians were voting to elect 61 mayors and 1,600 municipal counselors in a new trimmed-down municipal structure.

With a turnout of about 48 percent, the vote was considered a key step toward convincing the European Union to launch membership negotiations with Albania, which was granted candidate status last year.

Only minor scuffles or alleged manipulation attempts were reported during the voting, which in the past has been marred by problems. International monitors are to give their preliminary findings later Monday.