Albanians should not vote for candidates with dubious pasts for MPs and the Church calls for transparent and fair elections, said the Bishop of the Diocese of Rrëshen, Dom Gjergj Meta on behalf of the Catholic Church of Albania in a message conveyed on Thursday to Albanian citizens on the eve of the general elections of 25 April.
Dom Gjergj Meta stressed that whoever sells the vote for money has no voice to hold accountable anyone, while he who exploits poverty to buy votes has no right to sit in parliament.
"It is not the case to vote for candidates with a double past. Integrity must be a necessary condition. Citizens should vote for transparent candidates with integrity," he said, adding that citizens have the right and duty to vote and not to abuse the vote and not to be sold. "It would be a great loss. We wish everyone to exercise their right to vote on April 25…. I hope that our country will do better in the April 25 elections," he said.
Meanwhile, the Bishop spoke about the challenges that await Albania and listed the pandemic as the first one. "The first challenge is the pandemic, especially the creation of long-term and post-covid strategies, dealing with the consequences," he said. Among the serious challenges Dom Gjergj Meta mentioned the reconstruction as soon as possible of the houses destroyed by the 2019 earthquake.
In addition, he said that the other basic challenge is the strengthening of institutions because, according to him, the reform in justice is on paper, but it must be applied quickly. According to him, other challenges are the abandonment of Albania by young people, the fight against poverty, the development of the country in urban and rural areas and of education in general, but particularly that in remote areas. He stressed that the fight against corruption, an acute wound of Albanian society, is also important.
The Bishop of the Diocese of Rrëshen, Dom Gjergj Meta closed the message with this call: “On the eve of these elections we would like to invite all citizens to participate in this moment of democratic life. It is the right and duty of every citizen. Voting is a moral obligation. Secondly, as we have reiterated in previous statements, it is the phenomenon of vote buying and selling, a major wound that must be eradicated. Whoever sells the vote for money has no voice to hold anyone accountable. Whoever buys the vote with money is not worthy of the deputy seat." /argumentum. al