A conference entitled "The elections of 21 June 2015 in Albania - Lessons learned and steps ahead: Administration, Legislation, Education and Participation", was jointly organised by CEC and Council of Europe in Tirana on 29 September this year.
CEC members, lower-level commissioners, trainers, representatives of political parties, international organisations and civil society organisations discussed on the main findings and recommendations of national and international election observer missions and evaluated the pre-electoral activities developed by different electoral stakeholders and international organisations in order to improve the electoral process.
While the peaceful and calm electoral campaigning, improvements in media coverage, the introduction of a 50 per cent quota of female candidates for local council and a still low, but increasing number of female mayors (9 out of 61) were identified as positive steps towards progress, many of the participants criticised serious shortcomings in the legal electoral framework and the lack of impartiality and professionalism of electoral bodies.
Besides the need for a reform of the electoral code and further improvements of the election administration, the claim for a general change of political and electoral culture in the country with a changing attitude from both, political parties and voters, stayed in the focus of the discussions. Also the empowerment of domestic observation organisations, giving them not only space for observation, but also paying attention to their findings and recommendations was highlighted as essential to progress towards democracy.
As a main conclusion, participants considered an intensified and improved voter’s education and training of members of electoral commissions, notably through the creation of a dedicated training center, as crucial to achieve further progress in view of future elections in Albania.
- Article on the CEC website [Albanian version]
- Congress adopts a Report on local elections in Albania including a resolution and a recommendation