The June 21 Local Elections in Albania were organized following the newly received candidate country status from the European Union (EU)Council of Ministers, which brings Albania a step closer to EU membership. In this framework, elections are considered an important test for opening accession negotiations. As Albania's Rapporteur at the European Parliament declared during an interview, "The number one message is that these elections are a wonderful opportunity to show that Albania is ready to open accession negotiations."18In addition, the 2015 Local Elections took place shortly after the approval of the Territorial and Administrative Reform (TAR) by the Albanian Assembly on July 31, 2014. The new territorial division led to a significant reduction of Local Government Units (LGUs) from 373 to 61.
This report is the culmination of observation and monitoring efforts from the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections and Sustainable Democracy (CFFESD). The multifaceted election monitoring project was designed to capture key aspects of the election process during all its constituting phases: pre-election atmosphere; Election Day (E-Day) from the opening of the Voting Centers (VCs) to the handover of election materials to Commissions of Electoral Administration Zones (CEAZs); counting at Ballot Counting Centers (BCCs) and; post-election developments. It aimed at providing reliable, evidence-based, statistically sound and easily accessible information to interested stakeholders in the election process. Furthermore, the project's goal was to publicly denounce and prevent any irregularities that would compromise the quality of elections.