On Sunday, the people of Albania exercised their democratic right to vote. We congratulate all those who contributed to making this possible, despite the challenging COVID-19 context. Elections were held implementing a new electoral framework, adopted in line with the recommendations of OSCE/ODIHR.
According to the preliminary findings and conclusions of the OSCE/ODIHR Limited Election Observation Mission, the parliamentary elections were generally well organised by the election administration, while campaign was lively and inclusive. Stakeholders had sufficient confidence to participate and a reformed Central Election Commission (CEC) oversaw the election process in a transparent manner, enjoying the trust of stakeholders at all levels. Observers report concerns related to the misuse of State resources or functions by the ruling party and other public figures. We encourage all parties involved in the count to proceed swiftly and in line with established procedures. All political forces should now ensure the effective and democratic functioning of the country’s institutions, as a result of these elections. This includes the responsibility to follow the democratic principle of respecting the outcome of elections. Any alleged irregularities should be brought swiftly to the attention of the Central Election Commission and other competent authorities, and cases need to be duly investigated, including vote buying.
As with the diplomatic watch activities on election day by the EU Delegation and Member States representatives, the EU will continue to follow closely the electoral developments until the final certification of results.
Albania has come a long way on its path towards the European Union, showing persistence in pursuing difficult reforms in the interest of the Albanian people. The period of transition until the inauguration of the new parliament and government should not hold back the continued efforts to implement the necessary reforms. We would like to see the country enter the next stage of the accession process, with the first Intergovernmental Conference to launch negotiations taking place as soon as possible.
We expect the new Albanian parliament and government to continue pursuing the country’s reform agenda with determination, particularly on the Rule of Law. We reiterate our call for a constructive and inclusive political dialogue from all sides.