Friday, July 10, 2009

Observers say flaws in Albania vote count


TIRANA, Albania (AP) — International observers said on Friday that political interference had delayed the vote count of last month's general election in Albania.

Some 500 international election observers have been monitoring Albania's election process, considered an important test for the tiny Balkan country's progress of democracy.

"The vote count was protracted and marked by high levels of mistrust among political parties and their representatives at all levels of the election administration," said an interim report by an international observer mission headed by the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.

Albania's election commission is currently considering complaints from political parties before the final allocation of seats can be made in the 140-seat parliament.

According to preliminary results, conservative Prime Minister Sali Berisha won 47.99 percent, the opposition Socialist won 44.31 percent and the small SMI party 5.48 percent.

Berisha's Democrats and the SMI promised to form a coalition and to advance Albania's goal of European Union membership a priority.

But opposition Socialists accuse the governing party of interfering with a recount in an effort to win more seats in parliament and threatening not to recognize the final result.

The observers assessed the count as bad or very bad at 22 out of 66 voting centers, which "provoked tensions among parties, especially where results were or appeared to be close."

They also noted procedural problems due to lack of sufficient training and guidance, and criticized the Central Elections Commission, the leading administrative body, of insufficient guidance of lower level administration and inconsistent handling of complaints.

In their first reaction after the June 28 election, the observers reported some improvement but cited a need for further progress to comply with international standards including an end to widespread family voting and the polarized political climate.

The election dispute comes as Albania is seeking to improve its election standards and to gain eventual EU membership. Albania, which joined NATO in April, has been under intense international pressure to ensure the seventh post-communist vote was free of the kind of fraud that marred the first six elections held after the Balkan country's communist regime fell in 1990.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

P.O BOX 56046
ASTORIA , N.Y. 11105

Το ψήφισμα, το οποίο υιοθέτησε το 36ο Συνέδριο, έχει ως εξής:
«Τα μέλη της Πανηπειρωτικής Ομοσπονδίας Αμερικής, συνελθόντα κατά το 36ο δισενιαύσιο εθνικό τους συνέδριο στην Νέα Υόρκη από τις 26 μέχρι τις 29 Ιουνίου 2009, 67η επέτειο από την ιδρύσεως της Ομοσπονδίας τους, υιοθέτησαν το ακόλουθο ανακοινωθέν:

1. Καλούμε τις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες, την Ευρωπαϊκή Ενωση και τα Ηνωμένα Εθνη και όλους τους Διεθνείς Οργανισμούς να απαιτήσουν από την Αλβανία να εκπληρώσει τις διεθνείς της υποχρεώσεις προς τους Ελληνες της Βορείου Ηπείρου και
όλης της Αλβανίας.

2. Καλούμε τους Ευρωπαίους αντιπροσώπους, οι οποίοι διαπραγματεύονται με την Αλβανία για το πλαίσιο της μελλοντικής της ένταξης στην Ευρώπη να παγώσουν τις διαπραγματεύσεις έως ότου η Αλβανική κυβέρνηση εκπληρώσει την απαίτηση της Ευρωπαϊκής Ενωσης να προβεί σε ακριβή απογραφή των Μειονοτήτων στη χώρα.

3. Καλούμε την αλβανική κυβέρνηση να επαυξήσει την ολοκληρωτική της αποδοχή στην κοινότητα των υπεύθυνων εθνών, αποκαθιστώντας στην ελληνική εθνική μειονότητα όλα τα εκπαιδευτικά, θρησκευτικά πολιτικά, γλωσσικά και πολιτιστικά δικαιώματα, τα οποία της ανήκουν λόγω των διμερών και διεθνών συμφωνιών που υπεγράφησαν από τους αντιπροσώπους της από την δημιουργία της χώρας το 1913, συμπεριλαμβανομένου και του δικαιώματος να δηλώνουν την εθνική και θρησκευτική τους ταυτότητα σε απογραφή πληθυσμού, η οποία θα επιβλέπεται από διεθνείς παρατηρητές.
Καλούμε την Aλβανική κυβέρνηση να τιμήσει επί τέλους την γνώμη του Διεθνούς Δικαστηρίου του 1935 να επιτρέψει στους Ελληνες να εκπαιδεύουν τα παιδιά τους στην μητρική τους γλώσσα.

4. Καλούμε την ελληνική κυβέρνηση να εγείρει δυναμικά την φωνή της στους διεθνείς Οργανισμούς για τα δικαιώματα της Ελληνικής Εθνικής Μειονότητας στην Αλβανία και να κάνει τα πάντα εν τω μέτρω των δυνάμεών της να βοηθήσει τους Ελληνες από την Βόρειο Ηπειρο οι οποίοι εργάζονται στην Ελλάδα να επιστρέψουν στα σπίτια τους παρέχοντάς τους οικονομική βοήθεια η οποία θα τους επιτρέψει να κερδίζουν τα προς το ζην στη δική τους περιοχή και να διατηρήσουν την ταυτότητά τους.

5. Καλούμε την Βουλή των Ελλήνων να υιοθετήσει ψήφισμα, το
οποίο δεν θα επικυρώνει την ένταξη της Αλβανίας στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ενωση εάν δεν αποδώσει πρώτα όλα τα δικαιώματα στην ελληνική εθνική μειονότητα, αρχίζοντας με ακριβή απογραφή των μελών της.

6. Καλούμε τις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες να κάνουν τα πάντα εν μέτρω των δυνατοτήτων τους να τερματιστεί η κατοχή της Βόρειας Κύπρου από τα Τουρκικά στρατεύματα. Να πιέσει την τουρκική κυβέρνηση να σταματήσει τον κατατρεγμό του Πατριαρχείου, να επιτρέψει την επαναλειτουργία της Θεολογικής Σχολής της Χάλκης. Να αναγνωρίσει την Ποντιακή και Αρμενική Γενοκτονίακαι να πιέσει την Πρώην Γιουγκοσλαβική Δημοκρατία της Μακεδονίας να σταματήσει να απαλλοτριώνει το όνομα Μακεδονία, το οποίοέχει ταυτιστεί με την Ελλάδα καθ’όλη την ιστορία της».

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Governing Party in Albania Seeks to Assemble a Coalition


Photo of the Day: Ilir Meta during champagne election, against Berisha coalition

Published: July 4, 2009

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Nearly a week after parliamentary elections, Albania’s governing Democratic Party began to assemble a coalition government on Saturday, even as the opposition Socialists decried the move as premature. Although the electoral commission is still recounting ballots from some polling places, it declared that Prime Minister Sali Berisha’s Democrats had won enough seats to form a government. Election officials said late Friday that the Democrats won 47 percent of the vote, giving them 71 seats in the 140-seat Parliament, just enough to form a government. The Socialists, led by Edi Rama, the mayor of Tirana, won 45 percent, or 65 seats. A Socialist splinter party, the Socialist Movement for Integration, came in third, the Central Elections Commission said.

Mr. Berisha, acknowledging that he could at best form a weak government if the results were upheld in the recount, invited the Socialist Movement for Integration to join him in a coalition if the final total confirmed the current count. The Socialist movement’s leader, former Prime Minister Ilir Meta, accepted the invitation, saying it was “the only one in the country’s interest.”

But the main Socialist Party charged that the Democrats were trying improperly to influence the vote count by declaring victory before all ballots from the election last Sunday were tallied.
The Socialists insisted that the electoral commission, which is recounting ballots from some polling stations after complaints about irregularities, could not declare that the Democrats had won 71 seats while the recounts were pending. They accused Mr. Berisha of trying to sway the electoral commission and threatened to hold street protests.

“I appeal to Berisha to abandon the idea of imposing himself on the Albanian people,” said Gramoz Ruci, a senior Socialist politician, adding, “unless he wants to meet and face the people in the street.” Albania joined NATO in April and has been under intense international pressure to ensure that the vote was free of the fraud that marred its first six elections held after the Communist government fell in 1990. Both main parties ran on similar platforms, pledging to lift Albania out of poverty and secure its goal of joining the European Union.

Election monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe issued preliminary findings saying that there were improvements and fewer irregularities in this year’s voting, but that some violations persisted, like late openings of polling places. Full final results are expected in days, after all disputed ballots are counted. Based on the partial count, the election commission said half of Albania’s 3.1 million registered voters had cast ballots.
Note: Which is really politically opposition of Albania? Albania is losting the democratic values of political pluralism. A left coalition Party such as LSI of Ilir Meta, cooperates with his "politically enemy" Berisha, is the last paradox of the country which aspirates to joint EU.
Now the question is: Which is really politically opposition in Albania?
If inside Albanian pluralism is lost the Albanian opposition, may be the new national strategic of albanian pluralism is to "target the Greeks", such is happening in Kosovo, against Serbs and FYROM against Slavs!!!