Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha has conceded defeat in general elections, ending three days of public silence and easing fears of a rough transition of power.
Mr. Berisha conceded defeat late Wednesday in an address to party supporters, as vote tallies showed Socialist challenger Edi Rama carrying 53 percent of the vote to 36 percent for the prime minister's conservative coalition.
The incumbent has dominated post-communist politics in Albania and was seeking a third term as prime minister in Sunday's elections.
He was credited with leading Albania into NATO, and with moving the country closer to membership in the European Union. Critics accused him of allowing graft and organized crime to spread.
Edi Rama, the former Tirana mayor who won acclaim for revitalizing the capital, has said he will push forward with the EU entry bid.