Disputed polls loom as Albania electoral commission defunct
Tirana: Fears rose on Saturday of yet another disputed election in Albania after the commission tasked with certifying the vote remained defunct a day before the Balkan country goes to the polls.
Since the fall of communism two decades ago, elections in Albania, one of Europe`s poorest countries, have been disputed or marred by violence and allegations of irregularities.
Tirana desperately needs to prove to its Western partners that it is able to hold fair polls that meet international standards if it is to have a shot at joining the EU.
But on the eve of the polls, the Central Electoral Commission remained inoperational.
There had been no progress made in a bid to replace three of the commission`s seven members who had quit in April over a dispute between Prime Minister Sali Berisha`s ruling coalition and Edi Rama`s Socialist-led opposition.
"The situation is currently blocked," a Western diplomat who requested anonymity told AFP.
The diplomat also warned that there is now "a great risk the results (of Sunday`s polls) would be contested, either by the outgoing coalition or by the opposition".
Brussels, which has twice rejected Tirana`s EU membership application, said Sunday`s vote "represents a crucial test for the country`s democratic institutions and its progress towards the European Union".
More than 3.2 million eligible voters will elect 140 new MPs from a slate of 7,000 candidates.
Some 600 international observers will monitor the polls which open at 0500 GMT Sunday and close 12 hours later.
First preliminary results were expected on Monday.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
More from Health
- Watch: PM Narendra Modi addressing rally in Imphal
- Will Shiv Sena join hands with Congress to stop BJP from entering BMC?
- Why is Akhilesh Yadav encouraging dishonesty for votes?
- China 'threatened' by ISRO's record-setting achievement?
- Report: Are mobile smartphones more unhygienic than toilet seats?
- Virender Sehwag's reply to Kargil martyr's daughter has taken the Internet by storm
- Ind vs Aus: Mohammed Azharuddin says Jayant Yadav and Ishant Sharma should be replaced in next Test
- WATCH: Kieron Pollard's epic celebration after destroying Lahore Qalandars in Dubai
- Indian doctor rescued from ISIS recounts horror, says 'they forced me to watch videos, shot me thrice'
- Mitchell Johnson takes a dig at Anil Kumble over calling Steve O'Keefe 'steady'