The EU welcomes the calm and peaceful conduct of the 28 June 2009 parliamentary elections in Albania. We congratulate the citizens of Albania for this achievement. The voters have shown their strong attachment to democratic values throughout the electoral process, and expressed it through a significant turnout.

The elections marked tangible progress with regard to the voter registration and identification process, previously a contentious issue, and the legal framework, adopted in a consensual manner by the two main parties.

The EU took note of the preliminary findings and conclusions of the International Election Observation Mission confirming the improvements in Albania’s electoral process, but also pointing to a number of shortcomings during the preparation and in the course of the elections.

The election campaign took place in a highly polarised political environment and, reportedly, was characterised by a large number of allegations made against the governing parties about electoral violations some of which were confirmed by observers.

In this regard, we point out that orderly completion of the remaining stages of the election process is of high significance. The final assessment of the elections will depend, to a significant extent, on the conduct of the vote count, the aggregation of results, and the handling of possible post-election day complaints and appeals.

The EU encourages a constructive dialogue among the political parties carefully reviewing the election process and leading to the formation of a new government committed to the reform agenda and to further progress towards the EU.

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