US, EU renew calls for fair elections in Albania

TIRANA, Albania

The United States and the EU on Friday (June 19th) once again called on Albania to hold free and fair elections to boost its chances for closer ties with the West, media reported. In a statement, the US Embassy in Tirana said next week’s elections will test the country’s ability to comply with democratic standards.

The Czech Embassy, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency, said the vote will demonstrate whether Albania is ready to move towards full EU membership. The appeals follow a series of election-related violence.

On Thursday, an official from the Demo-Christian Party died in a car bombing near the northern city of Shkodra. Days earlier, a supporter of the ruling Democratic Party was shot dead in the village of Qerret, near Tirana. In May, Fatmir Xhindi, a parliament member from the main opposition Socialist Party, was gunned down near his home in Roskovec.

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