ODIHR Mission: “Citizens’ interests were not taken into consideration during elections”

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 2, 2019 10:19

ODIHR Mission: “Citizens’ interests were not taken into consideration during elections”

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  • "In a climate of political deadlock and polarization, voters did not have the opportunity to choose between some political opportunities. The opposition decided not to participate, while the government decided to hold elections without the opposition,” said the ODIHR Mission.

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TIRANA, July 1 – The OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission in Albania stated on Monday that local elections were held without appreciating the citizens’ interests, while political clashes brought about legal uncertainty. 

“In a climate of political deadlock and polarization, voters did not have the opportunity to choose between some political opportunities. The opposition decided not to participate, while the government decided to hold elections without the opposition,” said the ODIHR Mission.

According to the statement, the opposition parties’ calls to boycott the controversial election and interpretations of the presidential decrees undermined public confidence in the process.

Election day was generally quiet, although Socialist Party observers dominated polling stations.

“The political environment has been polarized and antagonistic since February, when the DP and the opposition withdrew from parliament, and held a series of protests demanding government resignation and early elections by a caretaker government,” said Ambassador Odri Glover, the Head of the ODIHR mission.

In nearly half of the municipalities, the socialist candidates did not face any opponents.

Voters were kept note by political party observers, and were not allowed to calmly vote out of  fear of punishment.

Voters expressed fears that even participation or lack thereof in the polls exposed their party preferences.

A full report will be issued by ODIHR after two months, including recommendations for improving the electoral processes in Albania.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 2, 2019 10:19