CEOL
Albania local elections slated for October

TIRANA, Sep 5, 2000 -- (CER) President Rexhep Mejdani has called the much-anticipated fall municipal elections for 1 October 2000, ensuring that southeast Europe will have an interesting mid-fall political season with elections in Albania, Kosovo and Yugoslavia.

All political parties have launched their campaigns, but tensions between the parties continue, as do disputes over election procedures.

Given the frequently troubled domestic political scene, the October elections are an important opportunity for Albanians to move toward political stability. Meanwhile, however, tensions between the parties—ongoing since the Socialist Party's electoral win—continue to undermine the process.

The Democratic Party has yet to accept the composition of the Central Election Commission and, while it has declared it will fully participate in the fall contest, has also lodged complaints about the electoral code and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's election monitoring.

Opposition parties, meanwhile, accuse the ruling Socialist Party of being corrupt and inefficient, and the Socialists appear nervous about their election chances in major cities; including Tirana, Durrės, Elbasan and Shkodra.

Domestic observers hold the elections as a good gauge of each party's likely fortune in the upcoming spring 2001 general elections.



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