Albanien / NATO

IMPROVEMENTS IN ALBANIA’S ELECTION PROCESS, BUT VIOLATION PERSIST, OBSERVERS SAY

TIRANA, 29 June 2009 – In a state­ment issued today, the Inter­na­tion­al Elec­tion Obser­va­tion Mis­sion con­clud­ed that Albania’s elec­tion process demon­strat­ed improve­ments, but also not­ed that vio­la­tions per­sist. 
 
The observers said the elec­tions marked tan­gi­ble progress with regard to the intro­duc­tion of new vot­er reg­is­tra­tion and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­ce­dures, and the adop­tion of an improved legal frame­work.
 
But the observers also not­ed that these improve­ments were over­shad­owed by the politi­ciza­tion of tech­ni­cal aspects of the process and vio­la­tions observed dur­ing the cam­paign which under­mined pub­lic con­fi­dence in the elec­toral process.

Elec­tion day was over­all calm and peace­ful and the atmos­phere was improved. Observers assessed the vot­ing process slight­ly more pos­i­tive­ly than in pre­vi­ous elec­tions, but not­ed pro­ce­dur­al vio­la­tions relat­ed in par­tic­u­lar to ink­ing pro­ce­dures and wide­spread fam­i­ly vot­ing.
 
The mis­sion said it was too ear­ly to make a def­i­nite assess­ment, as the vote count and tab­u­la­tion of results have yet to be com­plet­ed.
 
“The coun­try has matured, it has made progress, and many of the fears we had only some months ago have not mate­ri­al­ized. I’m cer­tain­ly hap­py about the progress we saw, but there is also a con­sid­er­able num­ber of issues that need to be tack­led, in par­tic­u­lar the polar­ized polit­i­cal cli­mate,” said Wolf­gang Gross­ruck, Vice-Pres­i­dent of the OSCE Par­lia­men­tary Assem­bly and Spe­cial Co-ordi­na­tor of the OSCE short-term observ­er mis­sion.
 
“These elec­tions demon­strat­ed that the Alban­ian peo­ple has the whole poten­tial for build­ing a demo­c­ra­t­ic soci­ety alike that in oth­er Euro­pean coun­tries. Now there is a huge respon­si­bil­i­ty of the author­i­ties and main polit­i­cal stake­hold­ers to work hard in order to estab­lish con­fi­dence among the cit­i­zens for a demo­c­ra­t­ic elec­toral process,” said Corien Jonker, Head of the del­e­ga­tion of the Coun­cil of Europe’s Par­lia­men­tary Assem­bly.
 
“Our report reveals pos­i­tive but also some neg­a­tive devel­op­ments in the con­duct of these elec­tions. Progress has been achieved since the last par­lia­men­tary elec­tions in 2005. How­ev­er, greater efforts still need to be made by all polit­i­cal forces in order to meet demand­ing inter­na­tion­al stan­dards,” said Bruce George, Head of the del­e­ga­tion of the NATO Par­lia­men­tary Assem­bly.
 
“The new elec­toral code agreed to by both main polit­i­cal par­ties intro­duced a num­ber of impor­tant improve­ments and safe­guards, in par­tic­u­lar with regard to vot­er reg­is­tra­tion and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion. It is unfor­tu­nate that the high lev­el of dis­trust among par­ties, the use of offi­cial events for cam­paign pur­pos­es and alle­ga­tions of pres­sure on vot­ers did not increase pub­lic con­fi­dence in the elec­tion process,” said Ambas­sador Audrey Glover, Head of the long-term elec­tion obser­va­tion mis­sion of the OSCE Office for Demo­c­ra­t­ic Insti­tu­tions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR).
 

Source: Nato