The preliminary report of the international observer mission (IOM) deployed by the OSCE/ODIHR assessed the Albanian elections process as transparent and smooth.
The head of IOM Ursula Gacek and other officials presented their preliminary report in a press conference on Monday, one day after the elections and while the counting is ongoing.
It found that the ruling Socialist Party secured considerable advantage by misusing state resources.
Vote-buying remains a serious problem in Albania, according to the report, and they are investigating allegations presented to them.
The mission commended the introduction of biometric voter identification in the voting process. While positive developments such as this one and the pilot project introducing electronic voting affect the voters’ trust in the process and lead to a higher turnout, the raised tensions and the killing of a person affected the process negatively.
The mission also stressed the fact that the government restricted the fundamental right to vote for Albanian emigrants by imposing a two-week quarantine on those who enter the country from Greece.
The IOM deployed 125 observers from 32 countries in the Albanian elections. The mission will remain in the country until the first week of May.