OSCE/ODIHR Mission publishes preliminary report on Albanian general elections

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TIRANA – OSCE/ODIHR International Observing Mission on elections in Albania, published a statement of preliminary findings and conclusions on Tuesday, ATA reports.

Special Co-ordinator and leader of the short-term OSCE observer mission, Roberto Battelli, said that observers have been monitoring the election process on Sunday and will continue to oversee the ongoing counting process.

Concerns were noted about possible intimidation by groups of party activists. Counting procedures were not always followed, and transparency was not guaranteed. The elections took place in the context of a long-standing and deep political division between the SP of the ruling coalition and the opposition DP, as well as of low public trust in the electoral process, the observers’ statement says.

Positively, the internationally mediated political agreement reached on 18 May between the leaders of the two parties allowed the DP to nominate several key ministerial positions. The CEC operated transparently, with regular public sessions, and administrative challenges that followed the political agreement. It did not, however, take measures to clarify inconsistencies related to newly amended legislation, and some of its decisions were not consistent or legally sound, the statement says.

“We hope these elections will create a positive political atmosphere that will enable the government to make progress in implementing the reforms needed to move further towards the EU accession process. OSCE recommendations should be met and our wish is that all political parties recognize elections’ result. EU supports the request of Albania towards EU integration upon condition of complying with requirements. Albanian people have plenty of friends to EP interested to Albania’s future,” said the Head of the delegation from the European Parliament, MEP Eduard Kukan.

The observing mission is a joint initiative of OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, European Council Parliamentary Assembly, and European Parliament on elections. The International Observing Mission is composed of 330 observers from 43 countries, including 255 long term and short term observers appointed by OSCE/ODIHR, 36 MPs and employees of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, 25 observers from ECPA, and 11 observers from EP.