Thursday, June 30, 2005

Council of Europe sends delegation to monitor Albania's election

Strasbourg, 30 June: A 15-member delegation of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) headed by Jerzy Smorawinski will observe the election in Albania on 3 July 2005, information sources in the Council of Europe (CE) announced.

The parliamentarians will meet party leaders, the chairman of the Central Election Commission, journalists and non-governmental organizations. On the Election Day, they will be deployed in the capital and in the towns around the country.

The observation of the election will be carried out in the framework of an international election observation mission (IEOM) composed of delegations from the Council of Europe and OSCE parliamentary assemblies, the European Parliament, and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR.).

According to the same sources, a pre-election delegation from PACE, which visited the country from 30 May to 1 June 2005, said in a statement that the truly democratic conduct of the election, in line with the commitments Albania subscribed to when it joined the Council of Europe, depends now on the political will of the authorities and parties participating in this election. The delegations will be accompanied by an expert from the Venice Commission, the Council of Europe's group of experts that made recommendations on the electoral law and the administration of the (local) election in Albania in October 2004.

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