Tirana, April 27, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency
US ambassador to Albania, Donald Lu said today that the list of candidates for the local government elections contains several names with possible criminal records.
This comes a few days after Mr. Lu had declared that the embassy would observe the candidates.
“We promised that we would look into the names of candidates, to see if they have been arrested before, in or outside of the country for different criminal offenses. We are happy with the candidate list, but we have concluded that some of the names in it may have criminal records”, Mr. Lu said today.
Ambassador Lu says that “We are discussing with political leaders about these people” and adds that journalists and civil society are making further verification of people who have been previously convicted or arrested. We have identified several persons with a possible criminal history. We encourage journalists and Civil Society to make further verification”, Mr. Lu said.
The American government allocated 500 thousand USD for the local elections and technical support for CEC.
“Colleagues from the US embassy will assist throughout the country for the elections. We are expecting for strong efforts to be made during and after the elections. We will collaborate with civil society in order to promote free and honest elections with a wide participation”, ambassador Lu says.
Meanwhile, he offers a clear message: “It’s not the foreigners who will make these elections free, but it’s the members of our civil society who will make sure that Albanian democracy is protected”. /ibna/