As Electoral Campaign Kicks Off US Embassy Warns Violators of Electoral Laws and International Standards in Albania

The US Embassy has declared that Albanian leaders will be held to account by it in cases of accepting or promoting violations of electoral laws and international standards, or attempt to otherwise undermine the integrity of and confidence in the electoral process and its results.
This harsh warning was made as Albania’s electoral campaign season officially began on Thursday, leading to national elections on April 25.
"The United States welcomes the official start of the campaign season and, together with local authorities and international parties, will make all efforts to support the elections through to their successful conclusion," said the statement released by the Embassy on Friday.
Ruling Socialist Party and opposition Democratic Party held rallies in Tirana on Thursday evening with the respective leaders Edi Rama, also PM, and Lulzin Basha, the challenger for premier's seat. They both are racing against time to achieve their ambitions, the first to retain power and the send to obtain it. Their speeches were full of curses and accusations against each other and their associates.
"We call on all parties, leaders, and voters to engage fully and responsibly in the exercise of their rights and responsibilities.  We urge parties to present ideas and candidates that reflect respect for voters.  We expect leaders to demonstrate leadership, including by ensuring their parties and candidates abide by electoral laws and international standards, clearly rejecting violence, and demonstrating that they would indeed be worthy of leading and representing Albania," said the statement of the Embassy.
In the meantime it encouraged voters to hold parties and candidates to account, consider their options, and vote for those parties and candidates who offer the best future for Albania – a future in partnership with the United States, one that propels Albania towards full membership in the European family as a strong and prosperous democracy.
The US Embassy had also an advice for the media asking it to kplay its role responsibly and ethically, by asking tough questions on behalf of the public and demanding real answers from candidates. "Throughout, we hope all parties, leaders, and voters will conduct themselves with dignity and, more importantly, respect for this most basic and important exercise of democracy. The people of Albania deserve no less."

In conclusion the statement noted that as Albania's friend and ally, the United States has made clear its expectations and hopes that those currently in office have the first and heaviest responsibility to act in the interests of the nation. "We will take appropriate action in response to those who accept or promote violence, accept or promote violations of electoral laws and international standards, or attempt to otherwise undermine the integrity of and confidence in the electoral process and its results," concluded the remarks of the US Embassy. /argumentum.al