A high level delegation from the Council of Europe, led by the president of the assembly, Mevlut Cavusoglu, is holding meetings with key political players in Tirana on Monday in an effort to resolve the country’s political crisis.
The delegation, which in addition to Cavusoglu includes ten CoE commissioners, met on Monday morning with President Bamir Topi, and is expected to hold meetings with Prime Minister Sali Berisha, Parliament Speaker Jozefina Topalli and opposition leader Edi Rama.
Berisha and Socialist leader Edi Rama have been locked in a stalemate over the results of the June 28 parliamentary elections, which Berisha’s party narrowly won.
President Bamir Topi, backed by the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the US, has held talks between the two leaders, but a solution acceptable to both camps has failed to materialise.
The Socialists have boycotted parliament since the new session began in September, claiming that the government’s alleged fraud was to blame for their electoral loss.
They have conditioned their return to parliament on a recount of the electoral ballots of the parliamentary poll.
Although declaring his openness to a parliamentary investigation of the election, Berisha has stubbornly rejected the possibility of a recount. He argues that the opposition has exhausted all legal options and that he cannot override the judicial process.
The crisis has poisoned the political climate in the country and brought to a halt the functioning of the assembly, which requires more than a simple majority to pass EU accession related reforms.