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ATA News from Albania (96-06-22)

Albanian Telegraphic Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA) Home Page at <http://www.telpress.it/ata>

Albanian Telegraphic Agency

CONTENTS

  • [01] MEETINGS OF ALBANIAN PRESIDENT IN CRANS MONTANA, SWITZERLAND
  • [02] PRESIDENT BERISHA MEETS SWISS FOREIGN MINISTER FLAVIO COTTI CHAIRMAN OF OSCE ROTATING PRESIDENCY
  • [03] DPA DELEGATION IN STRASBOURG
  • [04] MEMORANDUM OF COOPERATION WITH THE EXPORTER'S ASSOCIATION OF NORTHERN GREECE
  • [05] PRESS REVIEW
  • [06] OSCE HAS NOT ASKED NEW ELECTIONS
  • [07] PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS IN ALBANIA TO BE REEXAMINED
  • [08] EUROPEAN PARLIAMENTARIANS CONSIDER NORMAL KOSOVA'S RIGHT TO SELF-RULE
  • [09] PROMOTIONAL SALE FOR AUSTRIAN AIRLINES-news conference
  • [10] ALBANIAN INHABITED COMMUNES MUST MAKE UP SEPARATE ELECTORAL DISTRICTS- secretary

  • [01] MEETINGS OF ALBANIAN PRESIDENT IN CRANS MONTANA, SWITZERLAND

    TIRANA, JUNE 21 9ATA) - Albanian President Sali Berisha, who is now in Crans Montana, Switzerland, to attend the Annual Forum of political leaders and business from June 20-23, 1996, today had meetings with Swiss Foreign minister and current chairman of OSCE, Flavio Cotti.

    Albanian president also met with Macedonian Prime Minister Branko Cervenovski. During the meeting they talked of the relations progressing between the two countries and the possibilities for further cooperation.

    President Berisha also met with U.N. deputy general secretary, Petovski in Geneva. /kled/xh/sh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [02] PRESIDENT BERISHA MEETS SWISS FOREIGN MINISTER FLAVIO COTTI CHAIRMAN OF OSCE ROTATING PRESIDENCY

    TIRANA, JUNE 21 (ATA) - During his stay in Crans Montana, Switzerland, where he is attending the annual Forum of political and businessmen leaders, Albanian President Sali Berisha met Friday Swiss Foreign Minister Flavio Cotti who is also chairman of OSCE rotating presidency.

    In regard to last developments in Albania president Berisha said:

    "The 45-day long election campaign and the election day of May 26 went on regularly and without incidents until 18 p.m. time when the SP secretary General, former Interior Minister of the communist regime, ordered all members of election commission to withdraw from the polling stations and said "We are at a deep loss".

    Despite the call of the left wing opposition for a boycott of elections, the electorate turn out reached 89 per cent. More that two-thirds of the electoral commissions stood at their posts and half of them belonged to the opposition. Nevertheless, not excluding the possibility of irreconcilable compromises in special constituencies I asked the Central Electoral Commission to put all election documentation in disposal of everyone who had complaints.

    But the parties that boycotted the elections did not address any complaint or request to the Central Electoral Commission since May 27 until now. They have decided to completely boycott not only the elections but also institutions of the rule of law in general.

    The CEC during verification of election documentation, on the basis of over 100 complaints from electoral subjects, identified serious irregularities in one constituency and not quite confirmed irregularities in another, therefore it decided an immediate annulment of elections in those two constituencies. In order to create space for the opposition, I asked the CEC to apply the principle "in dubio pro reo" during examination of the complaints and requests from electoral subjects. According to this principle the CEC had to count as valid for the socialist candidate all the invalid ballot papers in which all the candidates were marked by lines but the line on the Socialist candidate's name changed in the slightest in form, thickness and colour as compared with the lines on other candidates.

    A distinguished international expert whom the CEC asked to assist in the handling of the election documentation declared that "according to all international standards these ballots are invalid, but you may consider valid for the sake of a political compromise."

    Based on this principle, the CEC identified 15 constituencies with irregularities for which I decreed a rerun of elections inviting the opposition to take part in them. Just like in the first and second rounds, the opposition also boycotted the rerun of polling in these constituencies.

    From June 11 to 14, chiefs of missions in Tirana, the current EU chairman, Italy, and of the USA as well as representatives of some other friendly country, had intensive talks with left wing opposition representatives. These representatives said to the Albanian Government on June 15 that the two left wing parties were ready to take part in elections and declared their decision to ask the Constitutional Court to adjourn the election date in order to have ample time to make preparations and for the international monitoring of the elections.

    The Government assessed this request and the Democratic Party declared it would welcome a decision by the Constitutional Court to adjourn the day of elections, which would make possible the participation of the opposition in the polling. But on June 14 in the evening, quite contrary to what the Albanian government was told by the representatives of the friendly countries, leaders of the left opposition not only declared their non participation in the elections but with their request to the Constitutional Court they had asked that Court to qualify as illegal the decision of the Central Electoral Commission for the rerun of elections in 17 constituencies and reconfirmed their approach insisting that they considered the May 26 vote illegal. On June 15 the Constitutional Court upheld the decision of the CEC for the rerun of elections in 17 constituencies and turned down the opposition request.

    I want once more to stress the stand of the Albanian Government. It made great efforts to have an electoral campaign and elections day within acceptable election standards. After the election boycott, it recognised the limited irregularities and was resolutely committed to correct them. It has not accepted and will not accept that individuals, groups or set circles in or out of Albania to use the communist boycott to pawn the Albanian democracy, to inflict the stability and sovereignty of Albania. It is open to dialogue with all the political forces. It has manifested and will always manifest this will.

    The Government has also appreciated the valuable assistance by friendly countries, the contribution of international institutions to Albania and the cooperation it has established with them. It denounced the incorrect stands of a group of observers in ODIHR mission, their double status as observers, the close and old relations of some of them with the Hoxha regime, in order to help the ODIHR institution for which it has a great respect. The Government also stresses that it has nothing to do with the ideological convictions and the past of those observers, but with the fact these observers have not respected the ethic and professional rules of the institution they represent.

    A proof of our open stand is the invitation of the Central Electoral Commission to Ambassador Glover, ODIHR chairwoman, to visit Tirana and the decision of the CEC to consider to remarks and to realise some of the ODIHR recommendations through which, we are convinced and resolute the electoral process will improve.

    The situation in Albania is calm. Albanians have not and do not back at all the policy of total boycotting the red front did to the electoral process and the total Stalinist nihilism of institutions and government. Another challenge to this policy was their participation at 70 per cent in June 16 elections.

    At the end Berisha said "I want to assure you as the chairman of the OSCE rotating presidency and representative of a friendly country that Albania, being a sovereign and independent country, will not accept anyone whoever he may be that directly or indirectly make use of the boycotting policy and total nihilism of the former communist leaders to realise his aims or atavist interests towards Albania or Albanians.

    Cotti on his part expressed his estimate on Albania's achievements during the past four years of democracy and the level of cooperation between Switzerland and Albania. He appreciated the invitation of the Central Electoral Commission to Ambassador Glover and said he considered very important the dialogue among the political parties in Albania. ake/xh/fh/k

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [03] DPA DELEGATION IN STRASBOURG

    TIRANA, JUNE 22 (ATA) - A Democratic Party delegation headed by its leader Prof Dr Tritan Shehu left Saturday for Strasbourg.

    Upon the invitation of the E.C. Political Commission the Albanian delegation will attend a debate which will be held there to clarify the alleged problems on Albanian May 26 elections.

    Ali Spahia DP deputy chairman will also leave today to attend the EC Parliamentary Assembly Summer session. kled/fh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [04] MEMORANDUM OF COOPERATION WITH THE EXPORTER'S ASSOCIATION OF NORTHERN GREECE

    TIRANA, JUNE 22 (ATA) - By Aljosha Keko: During the visit of a delegation of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Tirana to Greece, invited by the Association of Exporters of Northern Greece and the Chamber of Small and Medium Business, the chairman of the Albanian delegation Arben Shehi and the president of the Exporters' Association Apostolis Genitsaris signed a memorandum of cooperation.

    According to the spokesman of the Albanian Chamber of Commerce, Aleksander Papa, "the aim of the visit was to sign a memorandum of cooperation with the exporters' association of Northern Greece thus making concrete the relations and cooperation established since two years ago."

    The delegation met with with the president of the Salonica Port, who is also President of the Exporters' Association of Northern Greece and member of the Board of Directors, Paneras.

    The Greek party made a panorama of the capacity of the port of Salonica and the volume of work carried out there. It also asked the assistance of the Albanian party to establish relations with the port of Durres, a request which was agreed upon.

    The Albanian delegation and representatives of the Exporters' Association of Northern Greece met in the seat of this association.

    The Albanian delegation also had a meeting in the Chamber of Small and Medium Business of Salonica./ke/xh/

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [05] PRESS REVIEW

    TIRANA, JUNE 22 (ATA) - Rilindja Demokratike highlights the meetings of President Sali Berisha in the Forum of Crans Montana, Switzerland, under the title "Albania highly estimates the help of friendly countries" and his talk with Swiss Foreign Minister Flavio Cotti, Chairman of the OSCE rotating presidency entitled "Communist boycott to keep at randsom Albanian democracy."

    It also carries an interview of radio BBC with the DP chairman Tritan Shehu under the title "I am pleased of the fact Europe is interested on Albania."

    Zeri i Popullit writes: "No democracy without opposition - Albania risks reisolation." It also writes "E.C. Parliamentary Assembly will organise an urgent debate on Wednesday, June 26, about the situation in Albania."

    Republika reports: "Looking for a political solution - Compromise should serve to the future" while Poli i Qendres writes that the Chairwoman of the CE assembly responds positively to a letter of the Pole of the Centre in regard to a request of this pole for a meeting in Strasbourg.

    Albania writes: "Central Electoral Commission announces the final results" and highlights the talks Berisha held with Cotti entitled "Communist boycotting cannot keep at ransom the Albanian democracy."

    Lajmi i Dites reports on Crans Montana's meeting and Berisha-Cotti talks. It also reports on the CEC communique on final results of elections.

    Rilindja carries a press conference of President of Kosova Ibrahim Rugova under the title "Incidents in Kosova were misinterpreted to accuse Albanians."

    It also carries the CEC communique on final results of elections in Albania. Regarding the reactions in Serbia about the last events in Kosova it writes "Belgrade's regime is doing nothing to resolve Kosova question."

    Koha Jone writes "Berisha does not withdraw in front of Europe." It also carries "OSCE declares that Tirana should obey the rules of democracy - The relations with Europe depend on the new elections."

    Dita Informacion writes "Victory of the opposition: Only a matter of time," while Gazeta Shqiptare writes "OSCE clarifies: 'New elections were asked only by a delegation'."kei/fh/k

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [06] OSCE HAS NOT ASKED NEW ELECTIONS

    TIRANA, JUNE 22 (ATA) - Official sources from Vienna precise that "OSCE has not asked new elections in Albania," writes today newspaper Gazeta Shqiptare citing foreign press agencies.

    Press agency ANSA in Vienna reports that "hypothesis of new elections in Albania was of only one of the delegations of the OSCE member countries."

    The other delegations, this agency says, have preferred to insist that OSCE help in the opening of a political dialogue between government and opposition and to help the Albanian authorities in the working out of acceptable norms for the opposition parties, which will serve to avoid the danger of other boycotting in the future." kei/fh/k

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [07] PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS IN ALBANIA TO BE REEXAMINED

    TIRANA, JUNE 22 9ATA0- By A. Sakja, The European Parliament Foreign Policy Commission will reexamine the issue of the elections in Albania and the resolution this parliament approved two days ago, the Democratic Party Press and Information office reports referring to an Austrian Euro- deputies' confirmation.

    The issue of the parliamentary elections in Albania will be reexamined at the request of the German Euro-deputy, Otto von Hasburg, member of the German parliamentary right wing group, according to the confirmation.

    Hasburg has protested against the way the resolution initiated by the European parliament left wing group was discussed and approved, and at his request, this issue has been decided to be reexamined in detail by the Foreign Policy Commission of this institution at a near date. a.ke/lm

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [08] EUROPEAN PARLIAMENTARIANS CONSIDER NORMAL KOSOVA'S RIGHT TO SELF-RULE

    TIRANA, JUNE 22 (ATA)-The European parliamentarians have discussed in Strasbourg the implementation of the Dayton agreement on former-Yugoslavia and the aid the European Union might provide in this direction, the Kosova Information Center reports.

    In this context the parliamentarians including Mendeluce, Hasburg, Hoster and others insisted that the European Union should be engaged more seriously in the solution to the Kosova issue.

    In a plenary session of the European Parliament they urged that Serb President Milosevic be financially and politically pressured in order to agree to negotiations for finding a final solution of the Kosova problem.

    Several parliamentarians considered quite normal for the international community to recognise the right of the Kosova people to self-rule. They also considered that the organisation of a special international conference on Kosova would be the first serious step in this direction for the solution of this problem. a.ca/lm

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [09] PROMOTIONAL SALE FOR AUSTRIAN AIRLINES-news conference

    TIRANA, JUNE 21 (ATA)-By Flora Nikolla, Austrian Airlines offers special travel conditions for family members and all passengers, who travel abroad on Mondays and Thursdays.

    Manfred Wiltner, director General of this airline, which is installed in Hotel Rogner "Europa-park" in Tirana, said in a news conference on Friday that "Any family member can buy a ticket for any destination of the Austrian Airlines in Europe, while the other member of the family can get the same ticket at half price. Both family members can travel together on the same flight and at the same class of the above line.

    This offer is valid until August 28, 1996, said Wiltner who also familiarised reporters with the platform of the line, which is trying to include Albania in the tourist map of Europe and bring foreign tourists to Albania.

    Wiltner told press representatives that an information book on Albania is being prepared. It provides the necessary information on Albania as regards tourism, geography and commerce. The book will be distributed free of charge to many countries of Europe, he said.

    Austrian Airlines flew for the first time to Albania in the fall of 1993. Now this airline carries out six flights a week. kled/lm

    Albanian Telegraphic Agency

    [10] ALBANIAN INHABITED COMMUNES MUST MAKE UP SEPARATE ELECTORAL DISTRICTS- secretary

    TIRANA, JUNE 22 (ATA)-The division of Montenegro into seven electoral districts for the coming elections does not favor Albanians, the Kosova Center of Information reports.

    "We would agree if Ulqini and other communes inhabited by Albanians constituted separate electoral districts," said Muhamet Nika, secretary of the Democratic League in Montenegro, after the proposal of Montenegrin government authorities to divide Montenegro into seven electoral districts.

    The main problem is that the Albanian inhabited communes, according to the proposed division into electoral districts, are included in the communes with Montenegrin majority. Thus, Ulqini is included in the same electoral district with Tivari and Budva.

    "Including Ulqini in the same electoral district with the non Albanian communes adds to the probability of Albania's votes to be lost in the large amount of other votes", Nika said.

    The Montenegrin opposition parties has as well opposed the proposed law on Montenegro's division into seven electoral districts. They favour Montenegro as one and the same electoral district. a.ca/lm


    From the Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA) Home Page at http://www.telpress.it/ata


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