Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Albanian Elections Include Greek Minority’s High Abstention & Minor Incidents

Albanian elections were held in a quiet but polarized environment and with strong police presence at the voting centers. Most significant of all was the high abstention. In Tirana and in the north areas of the country, there were some minor incidents. There were also some tensions within the Greek minority.

Two sub-prefecture candidates of the new Greek party MEGA, in Dropolis of Argyrokastro District protested to OSCE about the unilateral involvement in the pre-election campaign in favor of the HRUP (Human Rights Union Party) candidates, of the Argyrokastro General Consulate. At the municipality of Chimara, the process of voting was held peacefully.

In the rest of the Greek minority provinces there was only one voting incident. The ballot boxes opened at 7:00 in the morning and closed at 7:00 in the evening. Some of the first voters were many Greeks from northern Epirus who wanted to go back the same day. At least 1,000 policemen were present at the 994 voting centers to avoid incidents, especially when the ballot boxes would be transferred.

The voting process was attended by more than 5,000 observers. Winner of Chimara Gjergji Goro, candidate of The Socialistic Party, said: “Chimara needed a change”. This statement of Goro, candidate of HRUP and president of “Omonoia” Vassilis Bolanos, was released by TV station “Ora News”.

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