President Ilir Meta has informed the OSCE that were the June 30 local elections to actually take place after the president canceled the date, they will be considered invalid.
In a letter sent today to Miroslav Lajčák, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, and to Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, President Meta stated that Prime Minister Edi Rama’s attempts to ignore and block the implementation of the presidential decree cancelling the election date are illegal.
Meta wrote that his decree of June 10, 2019 (published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Albania one day later) was in force, and therefore valid local elections could not take place on June 30.
Any election process that might be held in violation of the presidential decree will be null and void.
[…] The efforts of the Albanian Prime Minister to ignore and block the implementation of the decree of the President of the Republic are completely illegal and will further worsen the crisis in Albania.
Meta also stated that his decree must be implemented by all institutions, including the Central Election Commission and other election administration bodies.
The president’s letter to the OSCE comes amidst growing tensions and clashes between local authorities led by the opposition and the government.
After yesterday’s clashes in Shkodër and Tropojë, today local authorities in several other cities demanded the local election administration to vacate voting centers in compliance with the presidential decree. Opposition supporters stormed in and damaged election supplies to prevent preparations for local elections in several voting centers across the country.
Albania is set to hold the OSCE chairmanship next year.