Press release - Kickoff event to present the project for monitoring the 2015 Local Elections in Albania
[Tirana, May 18, 2015]. The Coalition for Free and Fair Elections and Sustainable Democracy (CFFESD) presented today in Tirana the project to monitor the 2015 local elections. CFFESD will deploy 90 long-term observers in 90 Electoral Administration Zones (EAZ) and 1000 short-term observers on the Election Day throughout the entire country. Additionally, CFFESD will monitor the counting and tabulation of votes in all of the 90 Ballot Counting Centers.
Through the implementation of this project, CFFESD will monitor all three phases of the electoral process: the pre-election campaign, Election Day and the Vote Counting Process. In addition, CFFESD will monitor the activity of the Central Election Commission (CEC), Voting Center Commissions (VCCs) and the Electoral College. CFFESD will not project the election results.
"The primary goal of CFFESD is to contribute to increasing the transparency, freeness and fairness of election processes in Albania. CFFESD's observation methodology is based on international standards and allows us to provide an objective and transparent observation of the 2015 local elections. The accurate and objective data that we collect from our observers will allow us to assess the quality of the voting and counting processes and issue recommendations for the improvement of future election processes in Albania," said Mirela Arqimandriti, Team Leader of the Project.
In order to provide for an accurate observation of different aspects of the voting procedure, CFFESD will implement a monitoring methodology based on statistical principles. According to the statistician Ms. Lauren Skora, this methodology will be applied to the total number of 5,344 polling stations to choose one thousand of them. Through the selection of a random, representative sample of polling stations CFFESD will be able to cover the elections with such a confidence as we are present at each polling station in Albania, with a margin of error ranging between three and five percent and 95% confidence level.
"CFFESD applied this methodology in two previous projects with great success, thanks to the strong force of our reliable volounteer citizens who conducted professional and impartial observations under strict instructions. This time, CFFESD has a core team of about 20 experienced staff who will manage the work of about 1,200 citizens appointed as long-term or short-term observers in each administrative unit," said Ms. Erjona Mulellari, Executive Director of CFFESD.
"The coalition has just finished with the training of 90 long-term observers, who will immediately begin monitoring the 90 Electoral Administration Zones with a focus on the Central Election Commission. After the training, they signed a pledge of election observers based on the Global Declaration for Non-partisan Domestic Observation, which contains the basic principles of objectivity, impartiality, independence, and patience during the observation," said Mr. Dhimitër Gjodede, one of the coordinators for the long-term observation.
The Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Albania Mr. Marcus Johnson welcomed the project during the launching event.
CFFESD will publish reports based on the findings of its observers during the pre - election process, including a preliminary report prior to the Election Day. CFFESD will publish at least two press releases on the Election Day, while the first post-election day report will be released on June 22, 2015. The final report will be released soon after the official publication of the results.
CFFESD wishes that the Local Election processes of 2015 in Albania respect the International standards for free and fair elections and convey faithfully the will of Albanian citizens.
All information will be posted in real time on the website of CFFESD, www.kzln.org.al, and social network names posted below.
The Coalition for Free and Fair Elections and Sustainable Democracy (CFFESD) is an independent, non-partisan organization to promote civic participation in elections and in securing sustainable democracy. CFFESD focuses on issues that influence the upholding of human rights, gender equality and the rights of people with disabilities. 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.
This project on local election observation is supported by Assist Impact through funding provided by USAID and with the technical assistance from the National Democratic Institute (NDI).
More details and findings can be found on the website at www.kzln.org.al
For more information, please contact:
Mirela Arqimandriti, Election Observation Team Leader
Erjona Mulellari, Executive Director, CFFESD
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