Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The 2009 Elections in Albania

As a result of the recent elections in Albania, Prime Minister Sali Berisha lacked only one vote in the Parliament needed to form a majority. Therefore, PM Berisha entered into a coalition with Ilir Meta's Socialist Party to - just barely - attain the required number of seats to achieve the majority he sought.

After 19 years of achieving democracy,I am very proud of the progress that the Albanian government and the Albanian people have made. I have personally seen some very positive results when my wife Jane and I visited Albania in 2008. I am hopeful that Albania can continue to earn the respect of other nations of the world and can continue to make the kind of progress necessary to assume its rightful place in the community of European nations.

I am, however, concerned about the statement in the BBC report below that,"Albania has never managed to hold an election that meets international standards - a condition of progress towards EU accession."

I welcome your comments concerning the elections, and your opinions about the BBC report below.


Albania PM re-election confirmed

Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha's alliance has won enough seats to form a government, though it fell one seat short of a majority, officials say.

The result means Mr Berisha's centre-right alliance will be forced to govern with a small left-wing party.

Election officials announced final results from the 28 June vote following a lengthy recount.

The election was seen as a critical test for Albania's aspiration of joining the European Union.

However, a preliminary assessment by a large observer mission criticised the vote, underlining widespread irregularities.

In the results announced on Monday, Mr Berisha's Democrat party and allies won 70 seats in the 140-seat parliament.

The opposition Socialists and an ally won 66.


Four coalitions contesting vote
Proportional representation system
Parliament has 140 seats
Four-year mandate

It leaves Mr Berisha's Alliance for Change one short of a majority, and it will have to govern in coalition with the small, left-wing LSI party.

It is the first time since the start of multi-party democracy in 1991 that a ruling party has been forced into a coalition through not winning enough seats on its own, says the BBC's Balkans correspondent, Mark Lowen.

The Socialists have complained of fraud, telling the BBC the election was stolen in several areas of the country.

They will decide at a national congress on Tuesday how to respond to the result.

Our correspondent says Albania has never managed to hold an election that meets international standards - a condition of progress towards EU accession.

Criticism of the latest poll could mean the country's EU aspirations remain a distant dream, he says.

Story from BBC NEWS:


At August 11, 2009 at 3:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Elections in Albania (A summary)

...It's hard to perceive a newly elected government receiving only half of the votes, to operate smoothly and with popular support. Strong animosities generated by twenty years of confrontational policies with no wish or effort to cooperate, indicate that the two major political forces in Albania, are heading for a long turbulent relationship which is going to deeply affect the operations of the government and consequently, the solution of the serious political, economic, and social problems of the country
This was confirmed by the recent attempts of a group of newly-elected deputies to join "the Democrats" in the Government."....for the purpose of better serving the national interests". The Communist concept "Party above all" dominates the politics of Albania.
The compartmentalization of the two major parties into static categories, ideological and rigid, is setting the stage to what one might call " a perpetual confrontation for a perpetual rule" in an ineffectual new Parliament.
Sami Repishti, Ridgefield,CT, USA


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