Political crisis risks bringing Albanian state institutions "to a standstill", OSCE warns

By bne IntelliNews June 11, 2019

OSCE chairperson-in-office Miroslav Lajcak expressed concerns on June 11 regarding the political crisis in Albania, which, he said may deepen further and has the potential to “bring the functioning of the state institutions to a standstill.”

The statement followed President Ilir Meta’s decision to canceled the local elections due to take place on June 30 following major anti-government protests, claiming that conditions do not exist for a true and democratic vote. The governing Socialist Party responded by saying it will launch proceedings in the parliament to impeach Meta.

Lajcak, who is also foreign and European affairs minister of Slovakia, urged Albania’s political leaders to demonstrate restraint and respect for the existing laws and constitution, according to an OSCE statement.

Lajcak noted he expects the political leaders to act in a democratic way and respect the right of citizens to vote within the time limits set by the Albanian legal framework.

However, Lajcak also expressed belief that Albania is capable of solving the delicate situation on its own.

Albania's main opposition parties, the Democratic Party and the Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI) announced earlier they will boycott the local election, as they think it will be not fair and democratic. A series of opposition protests have been taking place since February aimed at toppling the government of Socialist Prime Minister Edi Rama, accused by the opposition of corruption.

Albania alongside North Macedonia is waiting to obtain a date to launch EU accession talks in the upcoming period. The political crisis in Albania may delay the process.

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