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Albania

Albania: US and EU Ambassadors Update on Election Preparations

Election Commissioner Ilirjan Celibashi spoke to the media after a meeting with US Ambassador Yuri Kim and EU Ambassador Luigi Soreca.

“A very good meeting with Ambassador Kim and Ambassador Soreca on the preparations for the April 25 election process. I informed them about all the measures taken by the Central Election Commission in the context of this process. Together we stressed the importance of this election process, the quality of preparation of this process by the CEC, we reviewed all preparatory aspects of this process to soberly review the quality of these preparations and to confirm once again that the CEC is in the interest of Albanian voters and the absolute guarantee of the integrity of the process, “said Celibashi.

For his part, Ambassador Soreca said the situation was discussed in preparation for the April 25th elections.

“The commissioner presented to us the situation so far, all the preparations, the various aspects of the preparation for the elections. He also told us about the preparations for biometric identification, voting and electronic counting. Everything is ready and the Commissioner is convinced that everything will be decided on election day. Another aspect was voter information during voting. “Something is something that has been done in a very good way and we really want to congratulate the Commissioner and his office,” said Soreca.

EU Ambassador Luigi Soreca called on Albanians to take part in the April 25th elections.

“We call on all Albanian citizens to vote, to exercise their right, because their future is in danger. These elections are extremely important and the EU is monitoring you in all 60 municipalities in Albania. What is happening in Tirana and Albania will be important for the EU, Albania is a candidate country. “What happens on Sunday in Albania matters,” said Soreca.

After meeting with State Election Commissioner Ilirjan Celibashi, US Ambassador Yuri Kim called on Albanian political leaders to ensure a smooth election process on April 25th.

“I repeat Ambassador Soreca’s gratitude to Commissioner Celibashi and his team after this pre-election conference. We hope to see a smooth and orderly electoral process that guarantees the right of Albanian citizens to express their will through voting. A very transparent process has been set up and the authorities are ready to defend the vote. “Your friends from the international community are here to ensure the smooth running of the process,” Kim said.

“ODHIR professionals, experts are here, and in addition I will join one of the 25 US Embassy teams that will be moving anywhere in the country. That way we will be with you, we will be with you while you vote, we will be with you during the counting and verification of the votes “, said the Ambassador.

Yuri Kim also expressed concern about the events in Elbasan. “We are all concerned about the news we have seen in the last 24 hours. You have already heard my statements about this event. The perpetrators should be arrested and punished by law enforcement. There should be no exceptions, differentiated treatments, no one is above the law. As many have said, the April 25 election decides the future, not the past. Bad events from the past must be left behind, things like unauthorized, unofficial armed groups defending people’s votes belong to the past; they have no place in the future, they have no connection with a NATO member country aspiring to join the EU. It is the duty of leaders, starting with those at the top, to show responsibility, ensure calm, and not incite violence and fear. We are closely monitoring the actions of all party leaders and I take this opportunity to thank Prime Minister Rama and PD President Basha for their statements urging citizens to remain calm, reject violence and vote in 25 April. Let me say what I said from the beginning when I arrived in Albania for Albanian voters; as you go towards polls, you are not alone. “Your friends are with you, we are with you.”

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