Press release - Electoral campaigns must be conducted free of violence, obstruction and intimidation
CALL TO ALL ELECTORAL CONTESTANTS IN 2015 LOCAL ELECTION
Electoral campaigns must be conducted free of violence, obstruction and intimidation
[Tirana, May 11, 2015]. Coalition for Free and Fair Elections and Sustainable Democracy (CFFESD) appeals Albanian political parties, that will be represented in Coalitions or alone in the electoral campaign for Local Government Election dated 21 June 2015, as well as independent candidates, to organize electoral campaigns in line with democratic principles of free and fair election, existing election laws and regulations, with high responsibility and dignity.
In the light of recent attacks on party activists of the Democratic Party in Shkozet of Durres district and Erseke of Korca district, CFFESD condemns all instances of violence against political opponents and appeals to all electoral contestants to publicly condemn and distance themselves from such acts. CFFESD urges political party leaders to publicly invite their supporters to refrain from acts of intimidation or violence against their opponents or their supporters, relatives, personal property, and public property.
• In respect of the implementation of international standards and Albanian Electoral Code, CFFESD urges Albanian political parties to:
• Conduct themselves in a manner which respects the rights of other parties and independent candidates, as well as the rights of all voters and other members of the community;
• Organize election meetings with citizens who have chosen freely and unconstrained or unthreatened, to attend and hear the candidates' programs;
• Respect the rights and freedom of other parties, coalitions or independent candidates to campaign and disseminate their political ideas and principles;
• Not to destroy or prevent the campaign and organization of political opponents;
• Not to engage in acts of vandalism, attacking or hitting political opponents;
• Not to tear posters and leaflets or prohibit political opposition groups that distribute them;
• Invite speakers at political rallies to avoid the language of denigration and defamation of political opponents, as well as threats and incitement of violence in whatever form against a person or group of people.
• To respect freedom of press and allow representatives of the media to carry out their work unobstructed.
• Not to allow any supporter to keep or use weapons of any kind during the pre – electoral campaign, on or following the Election Day.
With hundreds of its non-partisan and well trained observers and volunteers throughout the country, CFFESD will observe pre electoral campaign of parties contesting the 21 local elections, record irregularities and nondemocratic practices and inform public and interested stakeholders about its findings in a timely manner.
The Coalition for Free and Fair Elections and for Sustainable Democracy (CFFESD) is an independent, non-partisan organization 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. CFFESD consists of 25 partner organizations and hundreds of Albanian citizens who volunteer their time to CFFESD's efforts for the Local Elections of June 21, 2015.
CFFESD project on local election observation is being supported by Assist Impact through funding provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), assisted by the National Democratic Institute (NDI).
Coalition for Free and Fair Election's findings can be found on its website at www.kzln.org.al
For more information, please contact:
Mirela Arqimandriti, Election Observation Team Leader
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