Albanian opposition Socialists in hunger strike to demand recount in recent election

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Twenty-two opposition Socialist lawmakers and 180 supporters have launched a hunger strike to press the government to allow a partial recount of an election they claim was tainted by vote-rigging.

Tens of thousands of Socialist supporters, led by Tirana Mayor Edi Rama, held a protest earlier pressing for a recount.

The government of Prime Minister Sali Berisha, who narrowly won the June 28 general election controlling 75 of parliament's 140 seats, has called that demand illegal.

The governing Democrats plan to hold a public concert at noon Saturday for the May 1 holiday to celebrate what they describe as successful reforms aimed at Albania's EU membership.