From: Exit News
US, EU Embassies Call on Albanian Leaders for Restraint after Killing of Man ahead of Elections 

The embassies of the United States and European Union in Albania have called on political leaders to restrain from aggressive rhetoric ahead of the April 25 elections in the country, following today’s killing of a man.

They also urged authorities to bring the authors of the crime to justice as soon as possible.

A man was killed and four people were wounded today in Elbasan, including a police officer. The victim was a ruling Socialist Party activist and the person who shot him was an opposition Democratic Party activist, the media have reported. No official account of the reason behind the shooting or their political affiliation has been given so far.

US Ambassador Yuri Kim spoke with President Ilir Meta, Prime Minister Edi Rama, and Democratic Party Chairman Lulzim Basha after the incident, and asked them to exercise restraint – and to lead accordingly – pending investigation of this case. 

She called on the leaders “to clearly reject violence”, and on authorities to bring the perpetrators of the crime to justice. 

“We call on law enforcement officials to investigate this incident quickly and thoroughly, identify perpetrators, and prosecute them to the full extent of the law. Those who engage in such violence must be punished,” a statement by the embassy read.

EU Ambassador Luigi Soreca also maintained a similar line in his statement, calling for swift investigation and restraint.

“We call for restraint and avoidance of violence, inflammatory rhetoric and hate speech in this crucial moment of the electoral campaign,” Soreca tweeted on Wednesday.

Albania is headed for general elections on April 25. Today’s crime was the second serious incident with a possible electoral background following the shooting and wounding of an opposition activist inside his party office in Kavaje earlier this week.