Albanians have started voting in parliamentary elections that could affect the country's ambitions for eventual membership in the European Union.

Some 3.3 million registered voters are eligible to cast their ballots in the country's eighth national polls since the fall of communism in 1990.

Voting started Sunday at 7 a.m. local time (0500 GMT) and ends at 7 p.m.

Prime Minister Sali Berisha, 68, of the Democratic Party, is seeking a third term but faces a strong challenge from Socialist leader Edi Rama, 48.

Because of an ongoing dispute over the country's election commission, it is uncertain when results will be announced, though the law mandates results be revealed no later than three days after the vote.