The most powerful earthquake to strike the country in decades shakes the capital Tirana and the country's west and north, tearing down buildings and burying residents under rubble.
The epicentre of the 5.6-magnitude quake was near Durres, less than 40 km west of the capital Tirana.
Opposition, supported by the country's president, boycotted the local polls over its claims of government corruption but Prime Minister Edi Rama's government is pressing ahead.
Albania has managed to burnish its image thanks to media-savvy politicians but the reality is far more problematic.
The bunkers were built all over Albania by Communist leader Enver Hoxha in the 1970s and the 1980s to protect the country from what it saw as the risk of foreign aggression.
Hundreds of police and rolls of barbed wire are protecting the parliament building in downtown Tirana, the capital, from the protesters. Thursday's parliament session was cancelled.
Thousands of opposition supporters call for the resignation of Prime Minister Edi Rama, whom they accuse of links to organised crime.
"Why not a single president, as a symbol of national unity?" says Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, arguing his country and Kosovo could one day have a single president.
The exit poll shows the Socialists are set to win between 45 and 49 percent of the vote.
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