From: Alice Taylor
PACE Sending Delegation to Monitor Before and During Albanian Elections

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) announced it will make a pre-electoral visit to Albania next week and will send a delegation to observe the upcoming general elections.

In a press release, PACE said they will be in Tirana between 30-31 March to assess the electoral preparations and campaign. The delegation will meet Speaker of Parliament Gramoz Ruci, members of the Albanian delegation to PACE, leaders, and representatives of parliamentary and extra-parliamentary political parties, and representatives of newly established parties.

Talks are also scheduled with the Chairperson and members of the Central Election Commission, and with the OSCE-ODIHR limited election observation mission.

The delegation is due to publish a statement at the end of its visit. A full delegation will travel to Albania to observe the elections on 25th April.

OSCE/ODIHR is also sending a monitoring delegation including 24 long-term observers and 250 observers. They recently published a report detailing a number of concerns about the upcoming elections. These include transparency, financing, media freedom, vote-buying, and the pressuring of voters. These elections, they wrote, will also take place in the context of deep distrust between the ruling Socialist Party and the Democratic Party.