Albania: Joint Statement by Borrell and Várhely on Parliamentary Elections

On Sunday, the people of Albania exercised their democratic right to vote. We commend all those who contributed to make this possible, despite the challenging context of COVID-19. The elections were held following a new electoral framework, adopted in line with OSCE / ODIHR recommendations.

According to the preliminary findings and conclusions of the OSCE / ODIHR Election Observation Mission, the parliamentary elections were generally well organized by the election administration, and the campaign was lively and comprehensive. 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 about 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 promptly and in accordance with established procedures. All political forces must 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 election result. Any alleged irregularities should be brought to the attention of the Central Election Commission and other competent authorities, and cases should be properly investigated, including vote buying.

As with the diplomatic observation activities on election day by the EU Delegation and the representatives of the Member States, the EU will continue to follow closely the electoral developments until the final certification of the results.

Albania has come a long way on its path to the European Union, showing persistence in pursuing difficult reforms in the interest of the Albanian people. The transition period until the inauguration of the parliament and the new government should not sustain the ongoing efforts to implement the necessary reforms. We would like the country to enter the next phase of the accession process, with the first Intergovernmental Conference for the start of negotiations taking place as soon as possible.

We expect the new Albanian parliament and government to continue pursuing the country’s reform agenda resolutely, especially on the Rule of Law. We reiterate our call for a constructive and inclusive political dialogue by all parties./ ibna

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