In a polarized political environment, the election process in Albania was concluded one hour after the scheduled closing time, as the committee responsible for them gave a small extension.
Eddie Rama retained the lead according to polls, however, executives of the Greek National Minority denounced a climate of terrorism against them, while complaints were made for attempted vote-buying and fraud.
According to a report broadcast by ANT1, an Albanian TV channel, voters received threatening messages on their mobiles in order to vote specific parties or candidates. Whoever, sent these messages, apparently used a mobile company based in Athens.
Earlier on the election day, a bloody episode took place, when gunmen shot against another voter injuring him.
The final result is expected to be announced after midnight or tomorrow. 18 political parties are taking part in the election process, with polls showing that the outgoing Prime Minister, Edi Rama seems to be leading the political race.
According to the polls, the second place will be for the center-right Democratic Party and in the third is the “Socialist Movement for Integration”.
Edi Rama has the support of Turkey, as Erdogan, with a blatant intervention, openly supported him and promised new investments, while Basha seems to have America’s blessing and it seems that his priority is to see Albania entering the EU.
A few weeks ago, the political life in the country had almost paralyzed, with the Democratic Party boycotting the country’s parliament. And as if this did not happen, the Democratic Party had set up a big scene opposite the of the Socialist Prime Minister’s offices, asking for his resignation with loudspeakers.
It was only thanks to the mediation of the EU and the US Foreign Office that the crises was overcome, after a meeting with both presidents of the two major parties. Prime Minister Edi Rama and Democratic Party President Lulzim Basha finally agreed to form a trans-party transitional government and a series of measures to guarantee fair elections.
Corruption in justice and politics
Brussels expect Tirana to finally implement the reform of the Albanian Justice, voted by the country’s parliament last summer, EU Ambassador to Albania, Romana Vlahutin, told DW. An extremely difficult task since many civil servants in the judicial authorities have secured their positions with…bribing. Interdependence and corruption, however, have strong roots in politics as well.
A first step in the reform was the establishment of an independent commission, which is called upon to scrutinize the appointment of 800 judges and prosecutors. At the same time a law was passed on the control of political figures and representatives of public life. In response to the new law, MPs without a criminal record or even politicians accused of various criminal offenses withdrew their candidacy for the election.
However, according to Afrim Krasniqi, director of an independent political research institute in Tirana, instead of MEPs in the party lists, relatives are now appearing!