Thursday, May 21, 2009

USAID: Elections are Albania's main challenge

TIRANA, Albania -- Next month's general elections are the main challenge for Albania, as they are the primary condition for advancing the country's EU bid, USAID Mission Director to Albania Roberta Mahoney said Wednesday (May 20th). "Elections are an important test. Albania has to show it can hold a free and fair vote," she noted.

Separately Wednesday, OSCE Ambassador to Tirana Robert Bosch also underscored the elections' importance, saying he expects them to be fair and transparent. The OSCE is sending 400 observers to monitor the process, in addition to 100 deployed by the EU.

In other news Wednesday, main opposition Socialist Party (SP) leader Edi Rama presented a list of 140 SP candidates who will run for parliamentary seats. Explaining his absence from the list, Rama said he does not want "an empty seat in parliament", as this may conflict with his current position as mayor of Tirana or with his "future one as prime minister".

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