Saturday, May 7, 2011
The Himara Community calls for free elections in Himara
"All the candidates, are resident of Himara, people decide to vote"
The Himara Community of Albania, called on Saturday, a day before voting for the administrative elections of May 8, Region Himara, all voters, to choose between candidates, the deadline without distinguishing the colors of the parties that represent them.
The Himara Community, considers that the development of Himara Region, needs capable men, with Western European experience, having grown so well as a serious representation in the governing bodies of the Municipality of Himara.
"We hope not to have characterized the incidents as the years that have passed, and the people of Himara, to choose with his vote for the best of candidates", calls The Himara Community.
By Stephanie van den Berg (AFP)
TIRANA — Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha on Saturday played down pre-election violence and blamed the opposition for the tense atmosphere ahead of Sunday's local polls.
"This electoral campaign was calmer (than before). There have been incidents but no deaths," he told AFP in an interview Saturday.
"I think that everything will be fine (on election day)."
After deadly political violence earlier in the year, the run-up to the polls has seen unrest. Official police figures say there have been over 60 incidents including three cases of car bombings and around a dozen fights between party militants.
Since the fall of communism in the early 1990s, polls in Albania have regularly been marred by violence and the results contested.
The international community considers the polls a test of the volatile Balkans' country's stability. Over 5,000 local and international observers will monitor the elections.
Analysts fear that the results could still be hotly contested. The opposition Socialist Party of Tirana mayor Edi Rama treats the vote as a referendum on the legitimacy of the righ wing government.
Berisha, who has been at the centre of Albanian politics since the collapse of communism, blamed the opposition for driving up the stakes of the vote contributing to tensions.
"For me these are really local elections... we want to win but if we don't it is not fatal," he said.
"Every country has its problems and here we have an opposition leader who wants power at any price... who does not respect the results of the vote."
Albania has been in political stalemate since parliamentary elections in June 2009, rejected by the opposition which accused the ruling right-wing Democratic Party of electoral fraud and demanded a recount of the vote.
The crisis reached its peak in January, when four people were killed and several were injured at an anti-government protest in Tirana. Seven of the elite Republican Guards were briefly detained in connection with the deaths but only one is still in custody as a probe into the incidents continues.
Rama for his part dismissed the entire government probe into the killings as "a farcical episode of an ongoing soap opera."
He is running for his fourth term as mayor of Tirana which is one of the most keenly contested cities on Sunday. Rama has already announced that he would contest the results if they are not truthful and does not rule out calling new mass protests.
In Fushe-Kruga, a village some 17 kilometers (10 miles) north of Tirana, where the flags of the competing parties flutter in the wind, voters were weary of politicians.
Fatime, dressed in black with a black scarf, heading home from the market dismissed the political posturing.
"I just want every this goes well and it stays calm. It is never the Albanian people that win in the elections," the grandmother who would not give her last name, said.
Eighteen-year-old Azim Hasa, soaking up the sun with his friends on the town's central square, said he would vote for the first time.
"I'll vote for the (ruling) Democratic Party because my boss is a candidate for deputy mayor. Of course I have to vote for him, he gave me a job," he told AFP.
Polling stations open at 7 am (0500 GMT) and close at 7 pm (1700 GMT). The first official comprehensive results not expected before the end of the month but partial results, especially for the mayoral races in the big cities could already be known late Sunday.
Arrests in officers' killings
(ANA-MPA) -- Police on Friday announced that 35 suspects have been taken into custody during a massive law enforcement operation revolving around the ambush of a motorcycle police patrol in the working-class district of Rendi, Piraeus last March, an incident that left two officers dead.
Another two motorcycle officers were injured during car chase, when fleeing suspects opened fire on police in pursuit.
Authorities said they cracked the case in cooperation with the counter-terrorism unit and even assistance from the intelligence service.
According to initial reports, four main suspects -- two Albanian nationals and two repatriated Greeks from the former Soviet Union -- are considered as the perpetrators in the double homicide.
Friday, May 6, 2011
"Council of Europe, special observers in Himara"
Central Election Commission yesterday approved a list of 23 observers of the Council of Europe, of which two will be in Himara.
May 6, 2011. The Council of Europe shows great interest in the Albanian municipal elections on May 8, especially for the Municipality of Himara. The episodes that were observed in the past, municipal elections, but the loading and nationalist tension led by the Council of Europe to give greater attention to monitoring the electoral process in the region.
For this purpose, the Central Election Commission yesterday approved a list of 23 observers of the Council of Europe, of which two will be in Himara. Earlier, the Council of Europe adopted and 7 additional observers from the U.S. embassy in Tirana and 53 other observers from the OSCE in Tirana are already headed by Ambassador Eugen Wollfarth. The Council of Europe Local elections will be held Sunday will be monitored by more than six thousand domestic and foreign observers.
These observers will monitor the electoral process particularly in large urban centers: 5 in the city of Tirana, Shkoder 4 in, 2 in Durres, Elbasan and 2 in 2 in Vlore. Also in the City of Himara will be sent two special observers of the Council of Europe, the Georgian Mamuka Abuladze and Minkel Juhkami from Estonia, according to the list agreed to monitor the electoral process.
The suspects are undergoing legal review by officers of the Homicide Division of Attica Security in touch with the leaders of ELAS. DNA assistance of the Forensic Service to receive and review DNA. Normally a few hours there will be detailed announcements from Security Attica.
The two young officers, John Evangelinelis 23 years and 22 years George Skylogiannis murdered in cold blood when the driver of a suspicious car, jeep, opened fire with Kalashnikovs war. According to information that has not yet been confirmed by officers of the Hellenic Police for some time are on the trail of suspects.. These are hard prosachthentes offenders.
Indeed some of them have "Employment History" in the dungeons. Information indicates that two Albanians and two Georgians. That caution.
Opposition candidate in upcoming Albanian local elections injured in car explosion
An opposition candidate in the upcoming Albanian local elections suffered light injuries when his car was blown up on Friday in northeastern Albania.
Astrit Cengu, the Socialist candidate for the chairmanship of the Kukes' commune of Shtiqen in the town of Kukes, was reportedly a few meters away from the vehicle when the explosion happened.
The explosion caused more damage on the driver's side of the car and police believe the perpetrators blew up TNT charge by remote control.
Ylber Duraku, the head of the Socialist Party in Kukes which is about 150 kilometers north-east of capital Tirana, denounced the explosion as "politically motivated".
The incident culminated several weeks of campaigning for the May 8 local elections, marred by violent incidents, including clashes between supporters of the main parties, stabbings and shootings that have fortunately not claimed any victims.
Last October a commune chairman of the opposition Socialist Party in the same region was shot and killed outside his home. No one has been held over his killing.
The local government elections are the first test of support after the controversial 2009 parliamentary elections won by the ruling Democratic Party of Prime Minister Sali Berisha.
The main opposition Socialist Party led by Tirana Mayor Edi Rama, who is running for the fourth term on Sunday, has contested the result of the parliamentary elections, saying it was marred by irregularities.
The European Union has been calling on Albania to hold free and fair elections if it wants to be considered a candidate to the bloc by the end of the year.
Albania says it has made progress on a dozen areas since Brussels rejected its candidacy for membership in November last year while granting it visa-free travel to the Schengen area of most EU countries.
Prime Minister Berisha, whose Democratic Party relies on the votes of four MPs from their smaller ally the Socialist Integration Movement to govern, has fielded two former ministers as candidates for the capital Tirana and the main port town of Durres.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
HMS Albion in Souda
(ANA-MPA) -- The British Royal Navy flagship HMS Albion sailed into the Souda Bay anchorage (Crete) on Wednesday for a five-day courtesy call.
HMS Albion is an amphibious assault ship and platform dock for helicopters. The warship is capable of carrying more than 600 crewmembers and marines; it hosts four amphibious craft and ready-to-deploy armoured military vehicles.The warship was designated as a fleet flagship in Dec. 2010. It set sail from Plymouth in early April to participate in a British ministry of defence exercise operation in the Mediterranean.
Europol: Albanian crime the most dangerous in Europe
Albania is mentioned in this document 26 times. It is noted, the groups with more resources, operating in the union are Albanian-speaking and Lithuanian.
It also presents Albania as a source of arms trafficking in the European Union.
Ethnic Albanian criminal groups are known to use extreme violence, highlights the Europol report.
Albanian campaign with violence
05. May 2011
President of the Republic of Albania, Bamir Topi defined the intensified violence during this electoral campaign as dangerous.
President of the Republic of Albania, Bamir Topi defined the intensified violence during this electoral campaign as dangerous.
According to Topi, in an unprecedented way, during these elections the clashes are being manifested between supporters and not only between candidates. For this reason, he called for self-restrain.
“If violence as an isolated episode remains part of a person’s ignorance, I wish there were no political support, because this would be very dangerous for democracy. I wish we did not have a confrontation between supporters, but between candidates,” said Topi.
In a meeting with representatives of the youth parliament, the President defined the absence of public debate from the candidates as a misfortune.
“There should be several debates, but unfortunately, there were no debates during this campaign,” said President Bamir Topi.
President Topi expressed his doubts on the preparations of the municipal counselors and on their knowledge on the existing legislation. The representatives of the youth parliament denounced the use of minors in the electoral campaign, and accused politics of not taking into consideration their interests.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
|GREECE’S FORGOTTEN ROOT CHALLENGE: HUMAN SECURITY|| || |
The killings have shocked an already demoralized police force, whose members have been subjected to crippling salary and overtime cuts by the Papandreou regime, obedient executor of IMF/EU/ECB demands aimed to protect Greece’s lenders but not its unfortunate natives. In the wake of this unprecedented incident, police labor organizers and other patrol officers are voicing desperate calls against the government’s denuding of the police budget without the slightest regard for operational readiness and the day-to-day battling of burgeoning, and largely imported, violent crime.
After the lethal ambush, Papandreou’s government spokesman repeated the oft-quoted and deeply fatigued claim that Greece is among the “safest” countries of the EU; the spokesman conveniently forgot stark police statistics that demonstrate how “the cradle of democracy” is being hammered by every kind of violent crime that has driven Greeks behind armored house doors, steel-barred windows, and round-the-clock surveillance systems virtually non-existent in this country only two short decades ago......................
more see: http://www.rieas.gr/component/content/article/29-first-page/1468-greeces-forgotten-root-challenge-human-security.html