President, OSCE call on Albania parties to prepare for local polls

09:00, February 15, 2011      

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Albania's president and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) called on the country's political parties on Monday to make efforts to help hold the local government elections on May 8.

Albanian President Bamir Topi and Eugen Wollfarth, the head of the OSCE Presence in Albania, met to discuss how to coordinate efforts to make possible the holding of the elections after the opposition Socialist Party complained Albania lacked conditions to hold the elections.

"Albanian citizens will be able to exercise their right to vote on May 8, 2011, as this date was decreed by the President of the Republic. Election day is approaching very soon, time is flying," Wollfarth said.

"I therefore call again on all political parties to acknowledge their legal duties and respect the right of the Albanian citizens to vote," Wollfarth said.

"I urge those political parties who have up until now failed to contribute their share to transparent and fair preparations by not nominating voting managers to do so without any further delay," he added, referring to the Socialists who have not sent in their list of commissioners.

Echoing Wollfarth, Topi warned that nobody should have illusions about any possible postponement of the elections. "It is indispensable to hold these elections on the legally-determined date for the sake of Albania agenda of integration in the European Union," Topi said.

The Socialists and the ruling Democratic Party are still blaming each other with a fiery rhetoric over the violence at an anti-government demonstration in January. Four people were shot dead and prosecutors have accused four security officers of the killings.

Source: Xinhua

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