Albania is set for an election like no other since emerging from half a century of communism in 1990.
Prime Minister Edi Rama has campaigned hard for Sunday’s local polls – even though his Socialist candidates face almost no opposition at the ballot box.
The main opposition is boycotting, but has urged militants to remain peaceful.
President Ilir Meta has issued a decree to postpone the poll, but Mr Rama has rejected it and has started moves to impeach the president, once an ally.
European Union leaders are assessing whether to start of membership negotiations for the Albania, also a Nato ally. A decision expected in October may hinge on the outcome of today’s exercise.