S&Ds congratulate the socialist-led coalition on it outstanding victory in the Albanian municipal elections.
Gianni Pittella, S&D Group president, stated:
“I warmly congratulate the socialist mayors and councillors on their election and invite them to implement the progressive reform platforms that offered them this success.
“The impressive result of the socialist-led coalition, including in the capital Tirana, is a clear sign that the Albanian citizens want to turn a page, opting for a progressive European future.”
Knut Fleckenstein, S&D vice president responsible for foreign affairs and rapporteur for Albania, added:
“The local elections of 21 June were another step toward consolidating democracy in Albania. According to the OSCE ODIHR preliminary statement and the observations of several EU embassies, the overall conduct of the elections was good and definitely better in comparison to previous polls. However, a number of challenges need still to be addressed but the country is on the right track. We hope, therefore, that soon Albania will get the green light for opening accession negotiations with the EU.
“Allegations of fraud need to be investigated. Such claims by the opposition are not yet proven. I am therefore surprised by the recent statements of Elmar Brok, the chairman of the foreign affairs committee, on Albanian TV. Taking into account his institutional role, he should exercise his duties impartially and not just react on the request of EPP’s political allies.
“We are looking forward to receiving the final statement by the OSCE ODIHR election observation mission in two months which will take into account the follow-up given to individual complaints and deliver a final assessment including recommendations on how to further improve the electoral process.”