Socialist Prime Minister Edi Rama is seeking a third term against a dozen parties united behind the main opposition Democrats, led by his long-time rival Lulzim Basha.
Some 3.6 million eligible voters, including Albanians overseas, will elect 140 lawmakers among some 1,800 candidates from 12 political parties or coalitions and those running independently after a bitterly contested campaign.
The center-right Democratic Party-led opposition supporters gathered at the main government building accusing center-left Socialist Party Prime Minister Edi Rama of corruption and links to organised crime.
With Albania finding itself in the midst of a deepening political and social crisis, is there any way out of it?
Thousands of protesters supporting Albania's opposition surrounded the parliament, demanding the government's resignation and early elections and accusing the Cabinet of corruption and crime links.
Thousands of opposition supporters call for the resignation of Prime Minister Edi Rama, whom they accuse of links to organised crime.
Victory for Albania's Socialists empowers them to push economic and judicial reforms vital for membership of the European Union.
The parliamentary election pits Socialist Prime Minister Edi Rama against the leader of the centre-right Democratic Party Lulzim Basha. On the manifesto are European Union accession and organised crime.
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