USA: Do not change the CEC

USA: Do not change the CEC
The US Ambassador in Tirana, Alexander Arivuz, had a meeting with the Albanian Prime Minsiter, Sali Berisha, at the Prime Minister’s Office.

Recent information suggests that the topic of this meeting will be the replacement of the Central Election Commission member who was appointed by the Socialist Movement for Integration, now that the latter changed sides and joined the opposition.

Arvizu was to meet the Prime Minister at 19:00, but the meeting was postponed due to the Prime Minister’s electoral agenda.

Earlier the day the US Ambassador stated that CEC should be allowed to act without any political interference, including from the Parliament.

“Together with our international partners, what we have always reiterated so far, is an appeal to all personalities, institutions, people in government and opposition, to act through ways that increase people’s trust; to act not about the result, but about the process, the way how elections are held. CEC is the responsible institution for holding the elections, and as such it should be free of any interference from any individual or institution, including the Parliament. This is a basic and simple appeal, and changing the rules of the game in the middle of the process is a wrong way to inspire the trust that we mentioned”, Arvizu declared.

Top Channel asked the US Ambassador if changing the rules mid game by the majority can be considered as pushing every limit.

 “I don’t think there’s anyone that would want to take an action that would make Albania go against the international community and the USA, because the objective here is having free and fair elections. This is about the process, not about the result”, Arvizu declared.

Arvizu spoke about the circumstances created by coalition of CEC with the SMI, which will reflect the creation of the regional electoral centres.
“Certainly, when SMI decided to abandon the ruling coalition and join opposition’s biggest party, it created new circumstances that also affect the 90 electoral areas.  The US position is that the CEC, in the current formation, has not only the capacity, but also the responsibility to treat the issues coming after the election administration. This is not limited only with the 89 regional election centres. In other words, the structure is there. It is important to allow CEC to do its job”, Arvizu declared.

These declarations came a few days after intensive negotiations between the international community and the parties, which were unable to produce the necessary consensus to give up from the alternative of replacing one CEC member, despite the appeals of the US and the EU to respect the Electoral Code.