The European Union and the US have welcomed the OSCE/ODIHR report on the May local government elections in Albania, while they insist that Albania implement the recommendations made in the report.
“The EU Delegation welcomes the publication of the final OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission report on Albania’s local elections which confirmed that the elections were well-administered & competitive, but marked by allegations of misuse of state resources and vote buying,” the EU delegation to Albania said in a message posted on social media.
Meanwhile, the EU Delegation encourages all actors to work inclusively to implement the new recommendations of the Report and those still pending from previous ones as a matter of urgency.
The US has also welcomed the latest ODIHR report from the May 14 municipal elections describing areas of continuing progress as well as shortcomings.
The United States urges the government, political parties, and state institutions to implement ODIHR’s recommendations which include the misuse of state resources at the central and local levels, allegations of vote buying on all sides, ensuring safeguards for voting secrecy and preventing intimidation of voters, and pressure on public-sector workers and voters.
“The report also noted the need to ensure proper implementation of the law on the right to information, decriminalizing defamation, and supporting independent journalism. The United States supports a commitment to addressing all ODIHR recommendations to ensure a comprehensive and consistent electoral framework, as well as the demands of the Albanian people for a strong democracy,” the US embassy said in a statement.
What did the report say?
The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) has released its observation mission final report on Friday following the May 14 local government elections held in Albania.
The report states that the May 2023 local elections in Albania were generally well-administered, competitive and held with the participation of the key political forces, but the process was characterized by continued polarization between the main political parties and deep division within the opposition.
According to the report, contestants could campaign freely, but cases of misuse of state resources at central and local levels, claims of pressure on public-sector workers and voters, and allegations of vote buying were of concern.
The report also states that the election day was generally peaceful, but the process was negatively affected by numerous cases of party interference as well as technical and procedural problems, widespread group voting and problems with the secrecy of the vote.