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Albania: distrust between political forces tainted the electoral environment

Strasbourg, 30.09.2013 – According to PACE, the parliamentary elections of 23 June 2013 in Albania were competitive, with active citizen participation throughout the campaign and complete respect for fundamental freedoms. However, the report prepared by Petros Tatsopoulos (Greece, UEL), approved today by the Assembly, states that “the atmosphere of distrust between the two main political forces tainted the electoral environment”, and that the implementation of the electoral legislation was unsatisfactory, “which affected public confidence in the electoral process”.

PACE also emphasises that “continued blurring between state institutions and party interests, combined with credible allegations of vote buying and pressure on public sector employees” negatively impacted on the pre-electoral environment. Media coverage of the electoral process was pluralistic on the whole, “but editorial independence was not entirely respected”.

In order to restore citizens’ trust in the electoral process, the PACE called the Albanian authorities to take a series of measures in close co-operation with the Venice Commission, in particular to improve the electoral legal framework, by taking into consideration the issues identified during these elections, to draw a clear distinction, when implementing electoral legislation, between the political parties' activities and state institutions, to guarantee the impartial functioning of the election administration at all levels, and to organise better training for members of the voting centre commissions.