From: Alice Taylor
Ambassadors Call for CEC to Eliminate Problematic Candidates from Electoral Lists

The EU Ambassador in Tirana, Luigi Soreca, through a status on Twitter has called for the implementation of the decriminalization law on electoral lists.

Soreca stressed that after the political parties, it is the turn of the CEC and the General Prosecutor’s Office to verify all candidates and ensure the implementation of the decriminalization law.

He wrote:

“Political parties have now presented their lists for the 25/4 elections. The CEC is now in consultation with the General Prosecutor’s Office, which will verify the candidates. The decriminalization law must be fully implemented and high integrity standards must be met for all candidates.”

US Ambassador Yuri Kim also commented on the work of the CEC. She said that some of the candidates of political parties will be disqualified by the Commission.

It is already with the CEC and it is their duty and that of the prosecutors to veto the candidates. I would not be surprised if some of the candidates could not qualify. This is where the ultimate power lies, with the voters. In fact, an improvement from the past is that voters will have the opportunity to vote not only for the parties but also for their candidate”, said the Ambassador.

She called on party political leaders “to ensure that their lists comply with the law, taking into account all the determinations made by the United States.”

She said that Elbasan is an important region so “I thought it was a good time to come here myself to meet with the leaders and talk to the people myself.”

The Ambassador also welcomed the decision of the CEC to ban the use of mobile phones within the polling station.

“America has been clear about our expectations for clean candidates. There are 3 people that the US Secretary of State has determined. I will not mention their names but you can see them and find them,” said the Ambassador.

The three names banned by the US are former Attorney General Llalla, former Mayor Vangjush Dako, and MP Tom Doshi.

Previously, British Ambassador Duncan Norman took the request for integrity one step further than his EU and US counterparts. He said that Albanian political candidates must not be directly involved in crime, or “directly connected” to anyone involved in crime or corruption.