OSCE “Not Invited” to Observe October 13 Elections

An OSCE-ODIHR spokesperson has confirmed to Exit that they have not been invited to observe the October 13 local elections in Albania.

ODIHR was invited to observe the 30 June local elections and is currently working on its final report, which will assess the electoral process as a whole and make relevant recommendations. ODIHR has not been invited by Albania to observe any other elections at this time.

Regarding the June 30 elections, the Preliminary Report of the OSCE-ODIHR had stated that the “local elections were held with little regard for the interests of the electorate.”

The October 13 local elections were called by President Ilir Meta on June 27 with decree 11211, after he had canceled the June 30 elections. The government and Central Election Commission (KQZ) ignored the presidential decree and went ahead with the elections.

Decree 11211 was not printed in the Official Gazette, which is under the control of the Ministry of Justice.

Recently, several opposition parties requested the KQZ to be registered for the October 13 elections. So far, the KQZ has ignored their request.

If OSCE-ODIHR will not be present during the local elections of October 13, this would be the first time since 1996 that the organization will not be present to monitor an Albanian election.

Albania is expected to take over the chairmanship of the OSCE next year. In July, Acting Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Gent Cakaj had declared that  “Albania will assume the 2020 OSCE Chairmanship inspired by a sense of responsibility and driven by the determination to contribute to the security and stability of our continent and to the prosperity of our people.”