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Tirana, 18 April 2016 – The Coalition for Free and Fair Elections and Sustainable Democracy (CFFE) will voluntarily observe elections for Rectors, members of the Academic Senate and other high officials of public institutions of higher education, to be held on April 20, 2016.
As these are the first comprehensive elections after the approval of Law no. 80/2015 "On higher education and scientific research in public institutions of higher education", CFFE considers it essential to guarantee democratic standards in these elections. CFEE believes that the engagement of civil society as an external and impartial actor in observing the voting and counting processes is an added value to the well conduct of these elections and in ensuring vote equality.
CFFE is the first Civil Society Organization that monitors elections in public institutions of higher education, expressing its full engagement in complying with principles of impartiality, objectivity and professionalism throughout the election observation process.
CFFE will distribute observers in the voting centers of public institutions of higher education starting from 08:00 until the end of voting process at 16:00. Afterwards, CFFE observers will monitor the counting process in some of the Institutional Election Commissions. Based on previous experiences of monitoring parliamentary and local elections, CFFE has prepared a trained group of observers, who will fill a questionnaire prepared specifically for these elections based on the legal provisions governing these elections.
CFFE and the Institutional Election Commission of the University of Tirana (IECUT) signed a collaboration agreement which includes the help that CFFE will provide to IECUT for the training of this institution's accredited observers as well as outlines the rights and duties of both parties, which follow in accordance with the Directive "For the organization of the first elections for the authorities and leading structures in the public institutions of higher education in the Republic of Albania".
CFFE is an independent, non-partisan organization established to promote civic participation for sustainable democracy and monitoring of the electoral process. CFFE focuses on issues that influence the upholding of human rights, gender equality and the rights of people with disability. CFFE consists of 30 partner organizations and hundreds of Albanian citizens who volunteer their time to CFFE's efforts and actions since 2013. CFEE has successfully observed the 2013 parliamentary elections and the 2015 local elections with domestic observers throughout Albania.