The General Secretary of the Democratic Party Gazment Bardhi announced he has filed a criminal report against Head of the Socialist Party Parliamentary Group Taulant Balla for allegedly pressuring the electorate in Elbasan.
He claims there is evidence that people have been contacted and told that they will lose economic aid if they do not vote for the Socialist Party. Also, they had allegedly been reminded that economic aid had doubled and this was due to the work of Balla.
Bardhi said it is very easy to verify if calls were in fact made from the headquarters of Taulant Balla, to those receiving economic assistance from the state.
A recent OSCE/ODIHR report on the situation prior to the general elections noted the risk of pressure on state employees and the misuse of administrative resources by the Socialist Party as well as the influence of criminal groups. They said that this could be “widespread” and noted that vulnerable communities were most at risk.
They added that vote-buying remains a concern, especially when combined with pressure on voters from criminal groups. This along with the misuse of state resources and a lack of transparency on campaign financing were also highlighted.