News 22 Feb 13

Germany Reminds Albania of Need for Free Elections

The German Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle, has called for free and fair elections in Albania, warning against the rise of nationalist rhetoric in Tirana.

Besar Likmeta
BIRN
Tirana
Guido Westerwelle | Photo by :AP/Bullit Marquez

“It’s very important for the elections to be held successfully and in accordance with European principles,” Westerwelle said in a joint press conference with his Albanian counterpart, Edmond Panariti.

“Germany backs Albania’s EU integration process, but you need to fulfill the criteria, for which we will make no concessions but will also not put any artificial barriers,” he added.

Albania’s has long history of contested polls that do not meet international standards. The last parliamentary elections in 2009 sparked a political crisis, which reverberates to this day.   

The general elections on June 23 are seen by the EU as litmus test for Tirana’s political elite and for its hopes of advancing the country’s battered integration process.  

Westerwelle also warned against the raising nationalist rhetoric in Tirana, which began after the celebrations to mark the country’s 100th anniversary of independence on November 28.  

Some Albanian politicians, including Prime Minister Sali Berisha, have increasingly appealed to pan-Albanian sentiment ahead of the polls, calling for the unification of ethnic Albanians in the Balkans under one state.

“Nationalist emotions should be treated very carefully, especially in an electoral campaign,” he said. “There will be no border changes in the Balkans,” Westerwelle underlined.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Headlines:

prosecution-started-investigation-on-grabovci-s-wiretapped-conversations-08-26-2016
26 Aug 16

Kosovo Probes Ruling Party MP Grabovci over Wiretaps

The Special Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation into ruling party MP Adem Grabovci after leaked wiretaps sparked allegations that he influenced public-sector appointments.

26 Aug 16

Turkey Sets Visa-Free Deadline for EU

26 Aug 16

Accused Kosovo Politician Azem Syla Released

26 Aug 16

Belgrade’s Ancient Crafts Guardians

Premium Selection

belgrade-s-ancient-crafts-guardians-02-05-2016
26 Aug 16

Belgrade’s Ancient Crafts Guardians

A traditional shoe-making shop is finding a way to survive and thrive in the modern world. Now, a fourth generation of the family is preparing to take the reins.

denis-zvizdic-the-loyal-party-soldier-tipped-for-the-top-08-22-2016
26 Aug 16

Denis Zvizdic: Loyal Party Soldier Tipped for the Top

Speculation is rife that Zvizdic, chairman of Bosnia’s Council of Ministers and loyal SDA party soldier, harbours state-level presidential ambitions.

25 Aug 16

Kosovo War Ex-Prisoners Fear Arrest in Serbia

19 Aug 16

Dacian Ciolos: Romania’s Technocratic PM

Latest News from the Balkans

26 Aug 16

Turkey Sets Visa-Free Deadline for EU

26 Aug 16

Accused Kosovo Politician Azem Syla Released