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Press Release - The Coalition for Free and Fair Elections to Observe The Parliamentary Elections of June 23rd 2013

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Tirana, June 13th 2013- The Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (CFFE), a union of civil society organizations, presented their plans for observing the 2013 Parliamentary Elections. The Coalition, established in November 2012 by the Albanian Helsinki Committee, the Gender Alliance Center for Development, and the Albanian Disability Rights Foundation will engage over 600 volunteer observers to observe the voting and counting process. The Coalition will observe all three phases of the electoral process: the campaign, the Election Day and the ballot counting process.

"The CFFE is an independent, non-partisan Coalition established to promote citizen participation in and observation of the electoral process. The Coalition places special emphasis on electoral issues that impact people with disabilities and women. The Coalition will impartially observe the 2013 elections, assess whether the elections meet international standards, and offer recommendations to improve future electoral processes," said Mrs. Mirela Arqimandriti, GACD Executive Director.

Blerta Çani, ADRF representative noted that CFFE will focus on the participation of women and people disabilities in the electoral process. The Coalition already released a statement on whether candidate lists complied with the gender provisions in the electoral code on May 7th. On Election Day, the Coalition will observe how many women are represented in election administration bodies and how many women are eventually elected to Parliament. The Coalition will also assess whether persons with disabilities have the ability to access the voting centers and fully exercise their voting rights on Election Day.

In addition, CFFE will monitor the work of Central Election Commission and the appeals process.

The CFFE observation principles include impartiality, objectivity and fairness. All the coalition's observers must sign a pledge of nonpartisanship for observing.

CFFE will pilot a new observation methodology that incorporates statistical principles in the district of Tirana. This will allow the Coalition to confidently and accurately assess the voting process. According to legal expert, Erind Mërkuri, the statistically-based observation (SBO) will be piloted in Tirana because it is the largest district in the country and has a history of disputed election results. Coalition observers will be deployed to a sample of 350 Voting Centers in the district of Tirana. Because the observation is based on a representative random sample of Voting Centers the findings from the SBO can be extrapolated to the district of Tirana.

CFFE observers will be placed in all 18 ballot counting centers in Tirana to observe the entirety of the counting process.

"For the first time ever in the country's history domestic observer groups will use statistical principles in their monitoring effort," said Mr. Mërkuri.

This methodology is in full compliance with internationally recognized standards of Domestic observation

The coalition has already concluded the training of 13 trainers and continues to train all of their accredited observers Next week the Coalition will publish a preliminary election report. On June 20th, the Coalition will conduct a simulation of Election Day, in order to see how the mechanism of collecting and reporting data by their observers works in practice. On June 23rd the Coalition will issue periodic reports to the public and will issue a preliminary statement on June 24th. All relevant information will be published live on the Coalitions website www.kzln.org and broadcast on social media at the following addresses.

The CFFE elections' observation project is supported by the National Democratic Institute through funding provided by the United States Agency for International Development.

For further information, please contact:
Mirela Arqimandriti
Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Mob:068 20 59 301
url: www.kzln.org
Facebook: Koalicioni për Zgjedhje të Lira e të Ndershme
Twitter: KZLN_CFFE_Albania