OSCE and Council of Europe assist Albania in increasing election commissioners’ professionalism

OSCE and Council of Europe assist Albania in increasing election commissioners’ professionalism

Tirana, April 1, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency

Best practices and platforms for the training of electoral commissioners were discussed today in Tirana (photo) at a round table organized by the Central Election Commission (CEC) with the support of the OSCE Presence and the Council of Europe’s office in Albania. Concrete examples of electoral training centres were brought by the directors of two such structures in Georgia and Moldova.

The participants – including political parties’ representatives, election experts, civil society and police – agreed to further explore the ways to establish an electoral training centre in Albania to increase the professionalism of the election administration, and eliminate related problems.

Recent OSCE/ODIHR election observation mission reports have also pointed out the need for increased professionalism of the electoral administration, including through improved training of election commissioners.

“The idea is to achieve a more professional administration of elections through better trained personnel,” said Claudia Vollmer, the Head of the OSCE Presence’s Democratization Department.

CEC Chair Lefterie Luzi said that administration of elections in the past has been negatively affected by the delayed appointment or last-minute replacement of election commissioners by the political parties. She said that in the 2013 parliamentary elections the parties replaced over one third of second-level commissioners, which was seven per cent more than in the 2009 elections.

If established, the training centre will also serve other groups interested in the electoral process, such as observers, first time voters, media and local government. /ibna/