Albania will now hold a general election on June 25 instead of June 18, following the agreement reached between Prime Minister Edi Rama from the Socialist Party and the leader of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) Lulzim Basha.
The date was agreed during the three-hour meeting held between the two that ended in the early hours on May 18. The agreement was reached with the mediation of the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Hoyt Brian Yee. This has put an end to the political deadlock, as the opposition had threatened to boycott the election.
The DP issued a statement providing details about the election deal, which included appointing interim ministers and senior opposition officials to monitor the election process. International monitoring of election procedures will also be strengthened. The Democrats agreed to vote on vetting bodies in the parliament, which will allow judicial reforms to take place. The implementation of electoral reforms, including the introduction of electronic voting, was also part of the agreement.
Registration of the opposition parties should be completed on May 26. The opposition will propose the name for the head of the central election commission.
It was also agreed that the local election in Kavaja, which had been scheduled for May 13 but was canceled due to the opposition boycott, will be held on the same day as the general election.
Holding free and fair elections and implementing judicial reforms are key for Albania to start its long-awaited EU accession talks this year. The country gained candidate status in 2014, but has not yet opened any negotiation chapters.
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