of Local and Regional Authorities
Council of Europe
F – 67075 Strasbourg Cedex
Tel : +33 (0)3 88 41 21 10
Fax : +33 (0)3 88 41 27 51/ 37 47
SPRING SESSION CG(13)44PART2
(Strasbourg, 26-28 March 2007)
COMMITTEE ON SOCIAL COHESION
The local elections in Albania (observed on 18 February 2007)
Rapporteur: Jean-Claude Frécon (France, SOC, L)
At the invitation of the Albanian government, the Congress observed the local elections that were held in Albania on 18 February 2007. The Congress joined forces with OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) to form an International Election Observation Mission (IEOM).
The Congress delegation concluded that these elections did not completely comply with international standards, although they were generally conducted in a calm manner and there was a significant improvement in the compilation of the voter list since the previous election, The delegation draws attention to a number of shortcomings which need to be addressed before the next national and local elections.
The observers are concerned at the continued use of administrative resources for electoral pruposes. They also report irregularities such as late opening and closing of polling stations and assisted voting.
The Congress urges the Albanian Government to resolve, in close cooperation with the Albanian local authorities, the issues raised in this report and it invites them to give serious attention to its recommendations.
In its Recommendation (CG/BUR (13) 95), the Congress invites the Albanian Authorities to take a number of measures, notably:
- to introduce without delay a proper system of identity cards and addresses;
- to ensure that electoral commission members receive adequate training;
- to ensure that polling stations open and close on time;
- to make arrangements to make it easier for prisoners, hospital patients and military personnel to vote;
- to examine the possibility of organising a count in each polling station to reduce the risk of electoral fraud.
Executive summary ................................................................................................. 2
1 Introduction ............................................................................................ ……………4
2.1 Albania….......................................... …………………………………………………4
2.2 Legal background………………………………………………………………............. 5
2.3 Political background……………………………………………………………............. 5
3 The elections .......................................................................................................... 5
3.1 Electoral administration................................................................................... 5
3.2 Election preparation and electoral campaign..................................................... 6
3.3 Voter register and identification....................................................................... 7
3.4 Election day …………………………..................................................... …………7
3.5 Results........................................................................................................... 8
4 Conclusions ........................................................................................................... 9
Appendix I Press statement issued on 13 January 2007................................................. 10
Appendix II Press statement issued on 9 February 2007................................................. 11
Appendix III Press statement issued on 19 February 2007................................................. 12
Appendix IV Programme of meetings and briefings attended by the
Congress delegation (15 - 17 February 2007)................................................. 13
Appendix V Deployment areas and teams ..................................................................... 15
Appendix VI Political map of Albania .............................................................................. 16
1. Following an invitation by Mr Besnik Mustafaj, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania,the Bureau of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe decided to send a delegation to observe the local elections in Albania scheduled on 18 February 2007.
2. The delegation, headed by Mr Jean-Claude Frécon (France, SOC, L), was composed of Ms Sue Davis (United Kingdom, SOC, L), Ms Véronique Moreira (France, SOC, R), Mr Fabio Pellegrini (Italy, SOC, L), Ms Helena Pihlajasaari (Finland, SOC, R), Mr Paolo Rondelli (San Marino, SOC, R), Mr Joseph Borg (Malta, EPP/CD, R), Mr Mikhel Juhkami (Estonia, EPP/CD, L), Mr Pascal Mangin (France, EPP/CD, L), Mr Giorgi Mosidze (Georgia, EPP/CD, R), Mr Michael Neureiter (Austria, EPP/CD, R), Mr Giorgi Masalkini (Georgia, ILDG, R), Ms Nathalie Aureglia-Caruso (Monaco, NR, L). The delegation was accompanied by Mr Jean-Philippe Bozouls, head of department in the Congress and Ms Gönül Kocak of the Congress Secretariat. On election day, seven teams were deployed in the districts of Tirana, Durres, Skodra and Vlora and visited 116 polling stations. The press statement issued by the delegation is reproduced in Appendix III.
3. The Congress wishes to thank Mr Jorgen Grunnet, head of the OSCE/ODIHR observation mission to Albania, for their excellent cooperation. The Congress is convinced that the pooling of efforts in the monitoring of the election was beneficial for all the observers present in Albania in terms of enhanced coordination and consistency of findings.
4. The Congress also wishes to express its thanks to Ms Delphine Freymann, Special Adviser of the Secretary General in Tirana for the support provided during the preparation and duration of the observation mission.
5. On the days preceding the first round of the election, Congress members attended a number of briefings, which are listed in Appendix IV. The Congress extends its thanks to all those included in the programme who facilitated the observers' task on 18 February with the information that they provided.
6. Albania joined the Council of Europe on 13 July 1995 and ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government on 4 April 2000 as part of its commitments to the Council of Europe. Since Albania ratified the Charter, the Congress has been monitoring local democracy in the country and has observed several elections. In this context, the Congress has invited the Albanian authorities to address a number of issues to improve the situation of local and regional democracy in the country. Some legislative changes with regard to local democracy have been introduced as a result of the recommendations of the Congress. However, further progress is necessary to ensure full compliance with the Charter and with the Council of Europe's electoral standards.
2.1 Legal background
7. The relevant texts are the Albanian Constitution (Law no. 8417 of 21 October 1998, last amended 13 January 2007) and the Electoral Code (2003, last amended on 13 January 2007). The Electoral code was drawn up and subsequently amended with assistance from OSCE/OHDIR.
8. The constitution defines Local Government Units (LGUs) as communes, municipalities and regions. There are 12 regions and 384 LGUs. The capital Tirana is divided into 11 boroughs, which are also considered as LGUs. Each LGU is composed of a mayor and a council, both of which are directly elected in a single round. Members of LGUs are elected using a proportional system based multi-name lists submitted by parties, as well as individual candidacies. The candidate for Mayor who received the highest number of votes in the LGU is elected Mayor.
9. Local elections were previously held in Albania every three years, but the local term of office has now been extended to four, by amendment of Article 109 of the Constitution, following the recommendations of the Congress. The previous elections were held on 12 October 2003, with the final results being declared on 20 February 2004. Therefore the mandate of the LGUs was due to expire on 20 February 2007.
2.3 Political background
10. Since the transition in 1991, the political scene in Albania has been marked by a polarisation between the two largest political parties: the Democratic Party of Albania (DP), led by the current Prime Minister Sali Berisha, and the Socialist Party of Albania (SP), led by the current Mayor of Tirana Edi Rama. The SP was unseated by the DP in the 2005 Parliamentary elections, with the DP winning 56 seats to the SP's 42. Relations between the two parties tend to be antagonistic, resulting sometimes in political deadlock on a number of issues, notably electoral reform. Frequent recourse is made to international organisations to break such deadlocks. The DP currently has a majority in a right-wing coalition with six other parties and one independent MP.
3 The elections
11. 48 parties registered with the CEC to contest the local elections. When registration of candidates closed on 24 January, there were 1,073 mayoral candidates, 6,074 multi-name lists and 212 independent candidates standing for election to the 384 urban and rural councils (LGUs). The proportion of women candidates remains low.
3.1 Electoral administration
12. The body responsible for the administration of the local elections is the Central Electoral Commission (CEC). In January 2007, the parliamentary parties agreed to increase the number of members of the CEC from seven to nine, and Article 154 of the Constitution was amended accordingly. The CEC is now composed of four members appointed by the Assembly, three appointed by the High Council of Justice and two appointed by the President of the Republic. The two new members were elected by the Assembly on 6 February, giving them little time to familiarise themselves with election procedures before the poll. The CEC holds public meetings daily during the election period. It is also responsible for announcing the results and handling complaints.
13. Voting takes place in voting centres under the supervision of Voting Centre Commissions (VCCs). There are 4,721 voting centres. The vote count is not conducted in the voting centres themselves. The ballot boxes are transported from the voting centre to the relevant Local Government Election Commission (LGEC) for counting. There is a counting centre for each LGU.
14. Local Government Election Commissions (LGECs) are composed of 13 members and a secretary, six from the ruling party, six from the opposition with the thirteenth member being proposed by the ruling majority in half of the LGUs and by the opposition in the other half. The LGECs are responsible for administering the elections in their LGU, appointing the members of the VCCs, checking the credentials of candidates, supervising the count, declaring the results for their LGU and transmitting these to the CEC. The Voting Centre Commissions (VCCs) are composed according to the same principles as for LGECs. Separate teams are appointed to count the vote. In all, about 100,000 people are mobilised for the organisation of the elections. When questioned about the centralisation of the voting process, the Prime Minister stated that this had been done in response to a demand from the smaller parties and that it had not resulted in any noticeable abuses.
3.2 Election preparation and electoral campaign
Postponement of the election
15. The elections were originally set for 20 January, but the opposition parties refused to register. They demanded the postponement of the elections, arguing that more time was needed to bring voter lists and birth certificates up to international standards. The government originally refused their demands, but, at the end of December, the proposed some reform measures, including amendments to the Electoral Code. Negotiations between the two main parties concluded with an agreement in principle on 29 December, although the parties subsequently disagreed on how to implement this agreement.
16. The delays in announcing the election date, the result of the standoff between the government and the opposition about election procedure, were complicated by the expiry of the mandate for members of LGUs. Opposition parties would have preferred to defer the elections until the spring to give them more time to prepare and to campaign. However, the electoral code stipulates that elections have to be held between 30 and 60 days before the expiry of the mandate.
17. Since the mandate of members of LGUs expired on 20 February 2007, the last legal date for the elections was therefore in January 2007. The postponement until 18 February was a compromise between the need to hold elections quickly and the need to allow time for campaigning. The resulting brevity of the campaign was unfortunate but understandable in the light of the complex negotiations that were held regarding the administration of the elections.
18. The campaign was relatively short, for reasons given above. Non-governmental organisations confirmed that public interest in the campaign was low. It was characterised by its mild nature in comparison to previous campaigns. This in itself was referred to by the Prime Minister as an indicator of the growing maturity of the democratic process in Albania. Observers noted that this campaign was less polemical than previous campaigns and that there were a significant proportion of new and young candidates (under 40 years of age). However, there were also reports of frustration among the electorate that concrete issues such as power supply and the environment were not being debated.
19. The media campaign, which was monitored by OSCE and a number of NGOs, showed that, although the ruling party received more coverage than any other party, the television channels all gave a relatively balanced coverage, both the public television channels TVSH and private channels such as Top Channel and News24. It was noticeable, nevertheless, that in the news bulletins of TVSH the government received more favourable coverage than the opposition parties.
20. There were few incidents reported during the campaign. A bomb exploded at a Tirana restaurant in the early hours of 15 February, after the Socialist Party (SP) leader and incumbent Tirana Mayor Edi Rama had left. Controversial photographs of Mr Rama were also released to the press during the campaign.
21. The financing of the campaign was also assessed as problematic. Observers denounced the use of administrative resources for electoral purposes..
3.3 Voter register and identification
22. Voter lists continue to be problematic in Albania. Lists are now compiled by local government on the basis of information from the civil status books The Directorate General for Civil Status checks the lists and notifies local government of any errors. One of the difficulties in compiling a reliable voter register is the lack of a nationwide address system in Albania. This is still under development. Civil registries are currently being updated to include a 10-digit numerical address identifying each citizen's residence. Citizens without a complete numerical address are listed with the numerical address "999", and are known as "999 cases". Last minute amendments to the Election Code, meant that there was a very short time frame for compilation of voter lists for this election.
23. Albania still lacks a central voter register. Birth certificates are widely used in Albania as identity papers and, under the electoral code, they are a valid form of voter identification. A new system of birth certificate was introduced in 2006, following international observer comments on the 2005 Parliamentary elections. The new certificates include additional safety features and photos to prevent fraud. The opposition called into question to quality of the new certificates and the modalities for their introduction. Agreement was finally reached on this issue on 12 January 2007 and resulted in changes made to the electoral code on 13 January. There are currently three separate birth certificate registers, depending on when the certificate was issued. The procedure for voting centre commissions to validate birth certificates is different for each register. This was a considerable cause of confusion during polling day.
24. Other accepted forms of identity include:
- an expired passport with an unspoiled photograph;
- a digital driving license;
- a university diploma with an unspoiled photograph;
- a secondary school diploma with an unspoiled photograph;
- a document on immovable property issued by a public notary office;
- a student card;
- a license for a registered private business, with photograph;
- an annual tax certificate, with photograph.
25. The latest amendments to the electoral code provide for emigrants to be identified by a letter “E” in the voter list. The LGUs have set up Notification and Verification Teams to identify emigrants. However, the updating of the voter lists in this respect has not proceeded smoothly in every LGU. In some LGUs not a single emigrant was indicated on the voter list. In others, up to 40% of voters were marked as emigrants. Emigrants can only vote by returning to Albania and voting in person. There is no provision for postal voting, proxy voting or out-of-country voting. This is very significant given that about 25% of Albanian nationals currently reside out of the country. The obligation to return to Albania to vote adversely affects the election turnout.
3.4 Election day
26. On Election Day the vote generally took place in a calm and organised manner, with very little of the violence that had marked former elections. Voting was monitored by some 4,500 local and international observers.
27. Voting centres opened late in the majority of polling stations observed, for a variety of reasons, such as incomplete delivery of election material, late arrival of VCC members and the late appointment of commission members. Some voting centres opened before all commission members had arrived. A number of polling stations visited by the Congress delegation lacked either the voter lists of the list of commission members at the time of the visit. At some voting centres there were no women on the commission, and women are often under-represented on voting centre commissions.
28. Although voting centres were due to close at 6pm, in Tirana a dozen centres staying open until 8pm in order to cater for all those wishing to vote. Late closure of polling stations was also observed outside of the capital.
29. Many of the problems observed seemed to stem from the apparent lack of familiarity with the voting procedures by voting commission members. The late appointment of members by the political parties, as well as a number of relatively late changes, undoubtedly adversely affected the training of these members. In some polling stations observed, the VCC president made frequent phone calls to their LGEC to clarify procedures. Some voters observed were allowed to vote even though they did not present the necessary identity papers.
30. Observers noted that the secrecy of the vote was not always respected. In some cases voters did not fold the ballot paper after leaving the polling booth. A number of cases of group and assisted voting were observed, although this was less pronounced than in previous elections. Cases of assisted voting were sometimes justified on grounds of the illiteracy of the voter.
31. The quality of the ballot boxes was not always up to standard. The seals on some of the boxes were inadequate. Other ballot boxes had no seal at all.
32. The unfamiliarity of members with procedures resulted in the inconsistent application of the voting procedures including the checking of voters' hand for ink to prevent multiple voting. The latter is of concern especially taking into account the controversy regarding the birth certificates and the high number of 999 entries on the voters’ lists. The ink was once again of poor quality. Some voters wiped or washed the ink off immediately after voting. Others did not have their hands inked at all.
33. In Tirana there were several polls taking place simultaneously, with the result that voters were presented with several different ballot papers and several ballot boxes. This resulted confusion among voters as to which paper to put in which ballot box. This could have been avoided by using colour coding and better differentiation of the respective ballot papers.
34. Most polling stations continue to be inaccessible for people with disabilities and often present accessibility difficulties for elderly persons.This issue affects the right to votefor many persons in a vulnerable situation.
35. Partial results were announced by the Central Election Commission on 25 February. On 1 March, the Central Election Commission then issued official preliminary results for 360 out of 384 LGUs, as follows:
- the Socialist Party obtained 328 875 votes (24,34 %);
- the Democratic Party obtained 292 222 votes (21,63 %);
- the Socialist Movement for Integration obtained 9,24 % of the vote;
- the Republican Party obtained 5,5 % of the vote.
The preliminary results for the coalitions were as follows:
- the ruling right-wing coalition received 619 076 votes (47,11 %)
- the left-wing opposition coalition received 592 182 votes (43,82 %).
The turnout for the election was approximately 48% of the country's 2.9 million registered voters.
36. The announcement of election results on the CEC website was delayed. This was attributed by the CEC to problems with the software. This delay was unfortunate in contributing to the impression of a lack of transparency in the count. This was all the more significant since the opposition Socialist Party contested the election results. On the other hand, both government and opposition parties agreed on the day following the poll that allegations of vote rigging were not serious enough to affect the outcome.
37. While the count proceeded without incident in most LGUs, in a small number of LGUs the count was obstructed by commission officials who appeared to place their party loyalty above their obligation to ensure the transparency of the count.
38. By 25 February, the CEC had received 144 complaints against election results and was actively investigating them. Criminal charges have already been brought against some election officials for falsifying or obstructing the count. However, these investigations meant that it had been unable to publish the final results at the time that this report went to print.
39. Elections were not held in ten local government units due to non-delivery of election materials or absence of polling station personnel. It is expected that there will be re-runs for these local government units in April.
40. While recognising the improvement made in the administration of the local elections in Albania since the previous elections, the Congress considers that a certain number of shortcomings need urgently to be addressed. It also believes that it is necessaryto establish a reliable system of identity cards and addresses.
41. The Congress is convinced that the relatively high turnout, bearing in mind the number of voters living abroad with no opportunity to vote, is a clear indication of the attachment of the Albanian people to democracy.
The recommendations of the Congress to the Albanian authorities based on the observation of the local elections are presented in document CG/BUR (13) 95, Recommendation.
PRESS STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE CONGRESS
ON 13 JANUARY 2007
Pre-electoral mission of the Congress welcomes the agreement on local elections in Albania
Tirana, 13.01.2007 – “The signing of an electoral agreement between majority and opposition parties is definitely good news for the Albanian people who can finally vote for their elected representatives”, said today from Tirana Ian Micallef and Jean-Claude Frécon on behalf of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe.
“The tenacity of the President of the Republic and the will of political leaders allow to pave the way out of the chaos threatening democracy and the rule of law in Albania. It is now up to the Parliament to finalise this agreement in order to organise elections without any further delay”, they added.
“The Congress would observe these local elections to be held in accordance with the Albanian law and international standards”, they concluded.
PRESS STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE CONGRESS DELEGATION
ON 9 FEBRUARY 2007
Council of Europe Congress to observe local elections in Albania
Strasbourg, 09.02.2007 – Following the pre-electoral mission organised by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe in Albania last January, a delegation of the Congress is to observe the local elections which will take place in the country on 18 February.
On 15, 16 and 17 February, the delegation, lead by Congress Vice-President Mr Jean-Claude Frécon, will meet representatives of the Government, Parliament, Central Electoral Commission, Local authorities as well as leaders of the major political forces. The delegation will also meet representatives of the civil society, of the international community as well as domestic and other international observer organisations.
The Congress delegation will present its preliminary findings at a joint press conference with other international observer organizations which will be hold in Tirana on 19 February at 2 pm at the Tirana International Hotel.
Membership of the delegation:
Socialist group: Jean-Claude Frécon, Senator (France, L), Head of the Delegation
Sue Davis, Councillor of Telford and Wrekin Council (United Kingdom, L)
Véronique Moreira, Regional Councillor of Rhône Alpes (France, R)
Fabio Pellegrini, Consigliere comunale, Rapolano Terme (SI) (Italy, L)
Helena Pihlajasaari, Member of Regional Council of Keski-Suomi (Finland, R)
Paolo Rondelli, Municipal Councillor of San Marino (San Marino, R)
Joseph Borg, Councillor of Mellieha (Malta, R)
Mikhel Juhkami, Chair of Rakvere City Council (Estonia, L)
Pascal Mangin, Deputy Mayor of Strasbourg (France, L)
Giorgi Mosidze, Former Member of Tbilisi City Council, Chairman, Faction
“New Rights” (Georgia, R)
Michael Neureiter, Vice President, Regional Parliament of Salzburg (Austria, R)
Liberal group (ILDG):
Giorgi Masalkini, Member of Supreme Assembly, Autonomous Republic of
Adjara (Georgia, R)
Non registered (NR) :
Nathalie Aureglia-Caruso, First Deputy of the Mayor of Monaco (Monaco, L)
Congress Secretariat :
Jean-Philippe Bozouls, Head of Service, Secretary of the Chamber of local
authorities of the Congress
Elena Piscopo, Project Manager, Co-ordination of election observation
PRESS STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE CONGRESS AND THE OSCE/OHDIR MISSION
ON 19 FEBRUARY 2007
Albanian elections represent a missed opportunity
TIRANA, 19.02.2007 – The 18 February local elections in Albania represented a missed opportunity to conduct elections fully in line with international commitments and standards for democratic elections. Election day was calm overall, but voting was marred by procedural shortcomings and in some places, tension. Those are the conclusions of the International Election Observation Mission, IEOM, announced in Tirana today.
While the elections represented a competitive contest, political parties did not live up to the responsibilities granted to them by law and the electoral environment was marked by uncertainty and lack of trust between key election stakeholders.
“The lack of constructive engagement by the political parties has brought back previous concerns regarding their willingness to co-operate with each other in ensuring that the elections are held in compliance with OSCE Commitments,” said Jorgen Grunnet, who headed the long-term mission sent by the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).
The IEOM called for a determined effort to establish a reliable system for civil registration before the next elections and urged political parties not to abuse the issue in their debates.
Joseph Borg, who spoke on behalf of the delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, said: “Although there was a competitive contest, we observed widespread procedural shortcomings which disenfranchised many eligible voters”.
Generally, candidates and parties could register without impediment and were able to freely convey their views to the electorate. Still, a few candidates who attempted to register as independents appeared to encounter undue obstacles.
Media provided a balanced coverage of the campaign and voters were able to make informed choices among a number of alternatives. However, the tone of the campaign deteriorated in the last week, focusing on personalized attacks, and a few violent incidents were noted.
On election day, procedural shortcomings were mainly related to the use of birth certificates. The voting centres opened late in a majority of polling stations where opening was observed, due to incomplete delivery of election material and late appointment of voting centres’ members.
The visible ink used to mark voters’ fingers was controversial, with opposition parties claiming that it could easily be removed. Group voting was frequently observed, as well as isolated cases of proxy and multiple voting. In Tirana, the similar colours of some of the ballots led to confusion and may have resulted in a number of ballots inserted in the wrong ballot boxes and thus rendered invalid.
For further information contact:
Urdur Gunnarsdottir, OSCE/ODIHR: +48 603 683 122, +355 692 979 845, email@example.com
Jean-Philippe Bozouls, Council of Europe Congress: +33 672 754 297, firstname.lastname@example.org
PROGRAMME OF MEETINGS AND BRIEFINGS ATTENDED
BY THE CONGRESS DELEGATION
FROM 15 TO 17 FEBRUARY 2007
Thursday 15 February
9:00 - 10:00 Ms Edit HARXHI, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
Venue: Rogner Hotel
10:15 - 11:15 Representatives of civil society and domestic observers
Venue: Rogner Hotel
11:30 – 12:30 Briefing by Ms Delphine FREYMANN
Special Adviser of the Secretary General in Tirana
14:15 – 15:15 Mr Pavel VACEK, Head of the OSCE Presence in Tirana
Mr Jørgen GRUNNET, Head of ODIHR election observer mission in Albania - Venue: Rogner Hotel
15:15 – 16:15 Mr Huber PETIT, EC Delegation in Albania
Mr Jörn BEISSERT, Deputy Ambassador of Germany/EU
presidency - Venue: Rogner Hotel
16:30 – 17:30 Media representatives - Venue: Rogner Hotel
17:30 - 18:30 Mr Çlirim GJATA, Head of Central Election Commission
Mr Flamur ÇATO, Deputy Head of Central Election Commission
Venue: Rogner Hotel
Friday 16 February
9:30 - 10:00 Mr Sali BERISHA, Prime Minister - Venue: Council of Ministers
12:00 – 14.00 Mr Ferdinand PONI, Deputy Minister of Interior - Rogner Hotel
15.00 – 16:00 Ms Arta DADE, Member of Parliament and Ms Mimi VATA, spokesperson for Edi Rama, Socialist Party - Rogner Hotel
16:15 – 17:15 Mr Edmond HAXHINASTO, Secretary for External Relations
Venue: Rogner Hotel
17:15 – 18:15 Mr Fatmir MEDIU, Head of Republican Party - Venue: Rogner Hotel
Saturday 17 February
9:00 – 10:30 Briefing with ODIHR Mission - Venue: Rogner Hotel
DEPLOYMENTS OF THE TEAMS (PARALLEL PROGRAMMES IN DEPLOYMENT AREAS)
TEAM 1 and 2 – Tirana
10:30 – 11:30 Briefing by LTOs based in Tirana - Venue: Rogner Hotel
11:45 – 12:30 Mrs Jozefina TOPALLI, Speaker of Parliament
16:00 – 17:00 Mr Sokol OLLDASHI, Candidate of Democratic Party
Venue: Electoral Office of the candidate, Democratic Party’s headquarters
TEAM 3 – Durres
14:30 – 15.30 Mr Vangjush DOKO, candidate of Socialist Party
Venue: Electoral office of the candidate
16:00 – 17:00 Mr Armand TELITI, Candidate of Democratic Party
Venue: Electoral Office of the candidate, Democratic Party’ Headquarters
17:15 – 18:15 Mr Lefter KOKA, Mayor of Durres - Venue: Municipality of Durres
18.30 – 19:30 Long Term Observers
TEAM 4 and 5 – Shkodra
14:30 – 15.30 Mr Namik KOPLIKU, candidate of Socialist Party
Venue: Electoral office of the candidate
16:00 – 17:00 Mr Lorenc LUKA, Candidate of Democratic Party
Venue: Electoral Office of the candidate, Hotel Rozafa
17:15 – 18:15 Mr Artan HAXHI, Mayor of Shkodra
Venue: Municipality of Shkodra
18.30 – 19:30 Long Term Observers
TEAM 6 and 7 – Vlora
14:30 – 15.30 Mr Shpetim GJIKA, Mayor of Vlora - Venue: Municipality of Vlora
16:00 – 17:00 Mr Kreshnik ALIMERKO, Candidate of Democratic Party
Venue: Electoral Office of the candidate, Sheshi i Flamurit
18:30 – 19:30 Long Term Observers
DEPLOYMENT AREAS AND TEAMS
18 February 2007
Mr Jean-Claude FRECON
Mr Pascale MANGIN
Ms Nathalie AUREGLIA-CARUSO
Ms Gönül KOCAK
Mr Paolo RONDELLI
Ms Helena PIHLAJASAARI
Mr Giorgi MASALKINI
Ms Véronique MOREIRA
Ms Sue DAVIS
Mr Michael NEUREITER
APPENDIX VI - POLITICAL MAP OF ALBANIA
 Letter addressed by Mr Besnik Mustafaj Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania, to Mr Halvdan Skard, President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, on 11 December 2006.
 Report on the local government elections in Albania (1 and 15 October 2000), CG/CP (7) 13; Report on the observation of the local elections in Albania (12 October 2003), CG/CP (10) 16; Report on the local by-elections in Tirana, Albania
(28 December 2003), CG/BUR (10) 87.
 Recommendations 28 (1998) and 201 (2006) on the situation of local and regional democracy in Albania.