The European People’s Party has adopted a resolution on Albania at its congress held in Zagreb, Croatia today.
Recognizing the “deep political crisis”, they urged the governing Socialist Party and the Opposition to undertake every effort to immediately overcome it through political dialogue. They also reiterated the need for proper electoral reform in line with OSCE/ODHIR recommendations as well as the political will to ensure that free and fair elections can take place.
This, they said, is for “the benefit of Albanian democracy and functioning democratic institutions” as well as the country’s path towards EU membership.
A total of 10 points were addressed including the “recurring phenomenon of people with criminal records running for office or being appointed to public functions” and the need for “timely and successful prosecution of all culprits including politicians, officials and criminal gangs associated with vote-buying and additional electoral crimes during the elections.”
They called vote buying actions and the involvement of organized crime in elections “unacceptable by European standards”.
The European political group also urged Albania to swiftly establish specialized structures to combat corruption and organised crime and to initiate criminal proceedings against members of the judiciary accused of punishable behavior.
In terms of the Constitutional Court, the EPP expressed the urgent need for Albania to ensure its proper functioning by equipping it with judges so a prompt final decision on the legitimacy of the 30 June local elections can be reached.
The cultivation of cannabis was also addressed with the EPP stating that there is a need for a “solid track record in the fight against mass cultivation and trafficking of cannabis, drug trafficking, and money laundering.” They called on the government to announce proactive investigations, prosecutions, and convictions for corruption and organised crime, including implicated politicians and high-ranking officials.
Lastly, the EPP expressed their support for “the Democratic Party of Albania in its efforts to address the legitimate concerns and European aspirations of the people of Albania.”