Albanian opposition fears electoral rigging in the local government polls

Albanian opposition fears electoral rigging in the local government polls

Tirana, April 16, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

In Albania, the leader of the Democratic Party, Lulzim Basha expressed his concern  about what he considers as a threat imposed by the government on the standards and the lack of a calm pre election climate.

Basha suggests that a larger participation of observers would assist in monitoring the process and avoiding the consequences that may come from electoral fraud.

In order to express these concerns and to talk about a plan of measures, Mr. Basha met today (photo) the preliminary fact gathering mission of ODIHR, where the participants discussed over the pre election situation in Albania.

Basha said that the current circumstances go against the climate and standards required by free and democratic elections.

“The administrative division was a unilateral process conducted by the government, without consultation, without consensus, something which has never happened in the past 25 years”, Mr. Basha said.

According to him, this division has been made based on electoral calculations, making this race unfair and unequal since the beginning.

The opposition leader said that another obstacle is the lack of the will by the majority to move forward in the process of decriminalization and that this is proven by the fact that candidates with criminal records are being run for the elections.

“The 2013 parliamentary elections showed that incriminated people who were approached by today’s majority, seriously damaged the standards, by buying votes and blackmailing citizens”, Mr. Basha said.

“The purchasing of votes in the partial local government elections in Korca and the amnesty that the majority did to this criminal act, show that Rama and Meta have made the trade of votes part of their scheme”, he added.

The leader of the Democratic Party demanded from ODIHR representatives to bring to Albania the biggest mission possible, “judging by the bad premises for free and honest elections”.

ODIHR-Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, is part of OSCE-Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. The monitoring of elections continues since 1992, while ODIHR and OSCE reports have not been entirely positive. These reports have always identified electoral problems, assessing that no process has fully met European standards. /ibna/