European Western Balkans

U.S. Ambassador to Albania lambasts chief Prosecutor for speaking loudly against judicial reform

ata_maliTIRANA – The United States Ambassador to Albania, Donald Lu, the Head of the EU Delegation, Ambassador Romana Vlahutin, and the Head of the OSCE Presence in Tirana, Ambassador Bernd Borchard, on Thursday appealed for progress in implementation of the judicial reform and swift finalization of the electoral reform, ATA news agency reports.

Addressing the “We the People: Citizen Inclusiveness and Direct Democracy” Conference, the U.S. Ambassador levelled serious accusations against chief Prosecutor Adriatik Llalla that he had loudly spoken against the judicial reform, the report said.

U.S. diplomat appealed on civil society, international partners, and the media “to be eagle-eyed because corrupt politicians, judges, prosecutors and criminal bosses will try to steal this election, judicial reform and everything else in this economy.”

“That same eagle eye is necessary for judicial reform. We are already seeing powerful people try to maintain their control over the courts and over the prosecutors. The most recent example of this is the action of Albania’s Prosecutor General. For more than 18 months he has consistently and loudly spoken against the judicial reform,” ATA quoted Lu.

EU Ambassador Romana Vlahutin called for a greater participation in order for participatory democracy to function.

“Justice reform proves that change is possible and is actually happening! Transparency and participation are core European values,” Vlahutin said in her address to Conference on Direct Democracy.

EU Ambassador also announced that international judges are expected to arrive in Tirana next week.

On his part, OSCE Ambassador called on Albanian authorities and political parties to work together and hold free and fair elections, underlining that OSCE role is merely advisory.

“We play a purely advisory role. You should ask your politicians for reasons of the failure of the electoral reform, since finger is recently pointed to us. Electronic vote counting only is not sufficient for free elections,” Borchard said.

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