Vote buying marks Albanian elections

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 26, 2021 17:19

Vote buying marks Albanian elections

The international observers’ preliminary reports on the 25 April elections in Albania, “saw authorities taking advantage of public office and allegations of pervasive vote-buying,” writes the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) through a press statement. According to the Head of the PACE delegation Aleksander Pociej, “allegations of widespread practices of vote buying throughout the election process remain a serious problem in Albania, and this has a negative impact on the general public perception and trust in the electoral process. So do the incentives and the pressure put on civil servants,” declared Pociej.

The international observers claimed that Albania’s elections “misuse of state resources was of concern,” says PACE.  The Special co-ordinator and leader of OSCE short-term observers Azay Guliyev, encouraged all political forces to take “additional actions to pre-empt a misuse of administrative resources and pressure on public civil servants in future electoral cycles.”

In the press release from PACE it is described also the role played by the media, which “did not provide essential information for the voters to make their choice. The prevalence of vote buying throughout the country was also of concern.” PACE continues also by writing that “despite a well-developed legal framework in place to stop the misuse of state resources, many public figures continued to campaign during their official capacity. This, together with the launch of several large government infrastructure projects in the run-up to the election, gave the ruling party a considerable advantage.”

The international election observation mission to the Albanian parliamentary elections saw a participation of 125 observers from 32 countries, consisting of 42 ODIHR-deployed experts and long-term observers, 60 parliamentarians and staff from the OSCE PA, and 23 from PACE.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 26, 2021 17:19