The embassies of the United States and the European Union have both expressed their regret over the unilateral adoption of changes to the Electoral Code by Albania’s Socialist majority.
“It is regrettable that the majority failed to honor its own stated commitment to seek common ground in the Political Council,” the US embassy stressed in a statement on Monday. .
They reminded Prime Minister Edi Rama’s party that the facilitators of the deal between the majority and opposition had “made clear since then that the June 5 agreement should be honored and that any additional measures should be considered and adopted in a similar transparent and inclusive manner using the Political Council.”
On Monday, the Socialist majority adopted changes to the Electoral Code which the opposition considers in violation of their Electoral Reform agreement.
The US embassy acknowledged the parliament’s right to adopt changes but noted that “the ruling party terminated discussions at the Political Council”. It also wrote that the adopted changes “are in addition to – not in violation of – the June 5 agreement.”
They called on the government and all political leaders “to hold themselves to a higher standard and to ensure the freedom and fairness of the upcoming elections.”
The EU embassy noted that today’s adopted changes are unrelated to the implementation of the OSCE/ODIHR recommendations and the agreed electoral reform.
They expressed regret on the lack of compromise between the majority and opposition, and stressed that nevertheless the political dialogue needs to be improved.
The EU stressed the need for Albania to focus on implementing the reforms needed for Albania’s EU integration, including the agreed electoral reform.