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Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA), 97-05-15

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] STATEMENT TO PEOPLE'S ASSEMBY BY ALBANIAN PREMIER ABOUT THE LAW ON ELECTIONS
  • [02] UNION FOR DEMOCRACY ESTABLISHED
  • [03] PRESS REVIEW
  • [04] DRAFT-LAW "ON THE STATE BUDGET FOR YEAR 1997" APPROVED
  • [05] MINISTER NGJELA MEETS SENIOR AUTHORITIES OF JUSTICE IN ENGLAND
  • [06] HUSBAND, WIFE AND THEIR THREE CHILDREN KILLED IN PROGRADEC
  • [07] FIRE EXCHANGE IN FRONT OF "ROYAL" BAR
  • [08] VRANITZKY MEETS WITH FORMER ALBANIAN PREMIER ALEKSANDER MEKSI
  • [09] FOUR DEAD IN GJIROKASTER AMMUNITION DUMP BLAST
  • [10] POLITICAL PARTIES AWAITING CONSENSUS ON NEW ELECTION LAW
  • [11] LETTER OF MR ARBNORI TO PRESIDENT OF AUSTRIA'S NATIONAL COUNCIL MR FISCHER
  • [12] COMMANDER OF ALBA MISSION VISITS SHKODER
  • [13] PRESS RELEASE - Slanders after Gebels methods are suitable only for the newspaper Zeri i Popullit -
  • [14] MINISTER OF EDUCATION AND SPORTS INJURED IN ROAD ACCIDENT
  • [15] KILLINGS IN KORCE
  • [16] BIG BLAST ROCKS AMMUNITION DUMP IN GJIROKASTER
  • [17] GREEK CONSULATE AND KAKAVIJE CUSTOMS POINT REOPEN IN GJIROKASTER
  • [18] PRIME MINISTER FINO VISITS MINISTER SKUQI AT HOSPITAL
  • [19] PREMIER FINO MEETS MR VRANITZKY
  • [20] DRAFT-LAW ON SEVERAL CHANGES TO LAW ON ELECTIONS TO PEOPLE'S ASSEMBLY TO BE REEXAMINED
  • [21] SHKODER PREFECT VISITS SPANISH TROOPS COMMAND AT SHENGJIN
  • [22] TWO BROTHERS KILLED IN BERAT
  • [23] SOME 450 PERIODICALS PUBLISHED SINCE 1991 IN ALBANIA
  • [24] MULTINATIONAL FORCES SURVEY MAT DISTRICT
  • [25] ELECTION LAW TO BE SENT BACK TO PARLIAMENT WITH AMENDMENTS
  • [26] ELECTION LAW TO BE SENT BACK TO PARLIAMENT WITH AMENDMENTS
  • [27] ARMY DEPOT NEAR GJIROKASTER IN FLAMES
  • [28] POLITICAL STATEMENT OF MR FRANZ VRANITZKY

  • [01] STATEMENT TO PEOPLE'S ASSEMBY BY ALBANIAN PREMIER ABOUT THE LAW ON ELECTIONS

    TIRANE, MAY 14 (ATA) - Albanian Prime Minister Bashkim Fino made a declaration today in the People's Assembly regarding the new law on elections. After thanking the deputies who gave him the possiblity to make that declaration, in the capacity of the Council of Ministers, the Premier said:

    "During my visit to the U.S. I was informed that the People's Assembly had examined and adopted through an accelerated procedure the new electoral law. My concern is linked with the fact that this act has violated some important moments of the political agreement reached between the political forces and the representatives of European institutions, hence, this act is contrary to the spirit of consensus which all the political forces and the government are trying to realise.

    I would like to inform you that after braod consultations with the political parties and with experts of OSCE and the Council of Europe, on Friday, May 9, 1997, the Governemt adopted in princille the new electoral law.

    Taking into account the political contract signed by the political parties in the presence of Mr Vranitzky which stipulates that May 12 is the deadline for the parties to agree on the draftlaw, we left three days at the disposal of the parties that after the adoption in princile, they have the possiblity for eventual technical changes to the draft. After this, I had a meeting with Mr Arbnori in which I informed him of the aforesaid and asked him that the session for the adoption of the law be held after my return from the visit to the U.S., since I want to take part personally in the presentation and defence of this important draftlaw, which consists one of the main tasks of the National Reconciliation Government. I also presented this request in written to Mr Arbnori. Mr Arbnori had no opposition to what I presented to him.

    But differently from this, upon the initiative of the DP parliamentary group, quite suprisignly the People's Assembly included in the agenda and adopted another draftlaw on elections.

    Without speaking about the context of this law, I consider this initiative and the procedure followed for its approval an open opposiotn to the spirit of the March 9 political agreement and with the points of the May 9 contract itself. The essence of this question is that the electoral law must be adopted with the consensus of all the parties and conformed to all the rules in order to have free and democratic elections. This also is the basis of the stability which will lead then to a stable political solution through the electoral process. I demand this from all the political forces, and this is also demanded by all European governments and international institutions concerned in the solution of the Albanian crisis.

    I have several times appealed to DP not to impose on others through its parliamentary majority, but it must find the spirit of cooperation with all political forces which have reached the agreement for the National Reconciliation Government.

    I regret to say here that you have acted differently from this spirit, contrary to the very political contract which DP leaders have signed.

    I would like to stress here once more that the National Reconciliation Govenment is charged with the realisation of the elections. The earlier elections will be free and democractic only if they will be realised by this government, only if they will be conducted with the consensus of all the parties, only if all political parties take part in them and only if the poll outcome is accepted by all political parties, also in line with the conclusions of the international authority. The elections will not be organized by the Democratic Party. This party is equal with other political forces during all the electoral process.

    Now it is clear for all the Albanians, the intenational institutions and the governments of the European states and the U.S. that, also in line with the constitutional provisions and the legislation in force, the National Reconciliation Govenment will use its competence and carry out its tasks in adopting all the decisions for the realisation of these polls, beginning with the endorsement of the electoral law and other necessary acts, up to the setting of the election day and the dissolution of the People's Assembly.

    Just like the electoral law will not be made by a single party, the election day too cannot not be declared in a meeting. Such illegal acts not only do not help realise the free and democratic elections, but also increase the political tension in the country and hamper the realisation of a political and stable solution for the country.

    In conclusion, I would like to invite you, honoured deputies, to discuss and decide on the draft law presented by the Government, being completely open to decide in the spirit of the consensus and cooperation between all the political forces," ends the statement of Albanian Premier Bashkim Fino. xh/

    [02] UNION FOR DEMOCRACY ESTABLISHED

    TIRANE, MAY 14 (ATA) - The Democratic Party, the Movement of Legality Party, the Social Democratic Union Party, the Christian Demcratic Party and the Democratic Union Party, by discussing extensively the indispensable need of cooperation for a landslide victory of Albanian democracy in the June 29 elections, agree to:

    1. be members of the Union for Democracy.

    2. to create an inter-party commission to coordinate electoral cooperation between them, consisting of the main leaders of these parties.

    3. be conmmitted to leave each other free zones.

    4. to stand with common candidate and have a common list for the proportional system.

    5. to support one another in the second round of polls according to the decisions of the coordinating commission.

    6. Union for Democracy remains open for the Balli Kombetar Party and is resolute to support set candidates of the Republican Party.

    Our parties congratulate the President of the Republic for his initiative to reexamine in the Parliament of the electoral law with the objective of expanding the space for the small parties, reducing the minimal limit to 2 per cent and for the accounting of the propotional system mostly in favour the small parties. xh

    [03] PRESS REVIEW

    TIRANA, MAY 15 (ATA) - Rilindja Demokratike carries the editorial "Vranitzky to calm down the losers", as well the note "Vranitzky has problems with those who refused the contract." Under the headline "Berisha declares June 29 for the conduct of polls", the paper carries the article "Kavaja, the start of the DP victory." DP also publishes the article "June 29 - separation between democracy and rebellion". The paper carries the note "Temporary permission for the illegal media". The paper reports on the establishment of the Union for Democracy. The paper carries a pronouncement of the Democratic Party on the election law under the title "The law - essential improvements and help for the small parties." The paper carries the article "The left wing rejects the May 9 accord". It also publishes the article "SP abandons the creditors, but not the committees".

    Zeri i Popullit carries a reaction of the SP leader Fatos Nano entitled "The socialists did not answer to the threatens with threatens". The paper publishes the note "A. Shehu (deputy Interior Minister) has ordered the bombardment of the Bence jail". The paper carries a reaction of Premier Fino after turning back from USA entitled "The policy of the Government of National Reconciliation is a policy of sincerity and not of betrayal". The paper publishes the note entitled "Political attempt", regarding the approval of the election law in parliament, as well as a reaction of the German Foreign Minister, Klaus Kinkel, who calls on the President to create facilities for the election law. The paper carries the interview of the SP secretary Namik Dokle, entitled "Sali Berisha aims to regenerate the Albanian crisis".

    Republika paper carries the editorial "Suddenness and the policy of the accomplished fact". The paper publishes the notes "Berisha against DP" and "We do not participate in the election with the law of DP", as well as the article "Vlore in war".

    Balli i Kombit carries the article "The arbitrary amendments increase the political temperatures". The paper publishes the article "The law should be not drafted by the leaders but by the jurists".

    Albania paper reports in its editorial that former chancellor Vranitzky arrives Thursday in Albania to verify the effort to declare void the agreement of May 9 by the left wing parties. The paper carries the article "Berisha tolerates the communists", which says that Berisha annulled on Wednesday the decree to dissolve the parliament. The paper carries the article "Kavaja restarts the race of victory". The paper carries several reactions of DP under the title "DP: we are consulted with OSCE", after the statements of the left wing for the election law.

    Koha Jone carries the editorial "Berisha provokes the rebellion". The paper publishes the article "Vranitzky, the last cartridge today". The paper carries the note "SP opens the campaign in south". It also publishes the article "Vlore, irritation crowded the square with people". The paper carries a press release of the former Austrian chancellor, under the title "Vranitzky appals for political consensus in Albania".

    Gazeta Shqiptare carries the article "Berisha-Fino - fight of nerves". The paper publishes interviews of DP and SP leader under the title "DP and SP among the accuses: who has to be blamed for the crisis?" /jz/mt/Z/

    [04] DRAFT-LAW "ON THE STATE BUDGET FOR YEAR 1997" APPROVED

    TIRANA, MAY 15 (ATA) - The People's Assembly discussed and approved Thursday the draft-law "On the state budget for the year 1997".

    The budget deficit in the draft-law is expected to reach the amount of 55 milliard leks.

    Leaders of the Parliamentary Commissions of Economy and Laws, the deputies Albina Karamitro, Isa Sinani, Ylli Vejsiu, asked the reduction of the budget deficit from 55 milliard leks to 45 milliard leks, through increasing the incomes in the budget, mainly through the fiscal system and the incomes from the customs-houses.

    According to the relation presented by this commission, there are two ways to lower down this great deficit: increase of incomes of the state budget and further reduction of expenses.

    The People's Assembly proposed several amendments to the project budget, which aim at improving the macro-economic indexes, by increasing the incomes from 58 530 millions lek into 64 230 million leks, envisaging the reduction of concrete expenses in 3.8 milliard leks.

    To reduce the expenses, the commission proposed to decide by law the cessation of transferring the funds from a ministry to another and using the funds of wages for other purposes, which are not envisaged in the project budget.

    The other measure is not to complete the existing staff and to review the personnel of the ministries and central institutions and public administration. /mt/z/

    [05] MINISTER NGJELA MEETS SENIOR AUTHORITIES OF JUSTICE IN ENGLAND

    TIRANA, MAY 15 (ATA) - The Albanian Minister of Justice, Spartak Ngjela, invited in England by the department of Lord Censellor, is holding meetings with the senior authorities of Justice in Great Britain, spokesman of the Ministry of Justice reports.

    In the meeting with the Director of the Constitutional Right, Mr Steven Limpkin, they exchanged thoughts about the structure of elections.

    Mr Limpkin familiarized Minister Ngjela with the system of elections in England and the procedures to be followed in order to have free elections.

    Minister Ngjela was particularly interested in the infrastructure of elections, registration of population, the process of vote counting, as well as the positive and negative aspects of the majority and proportional process.

    Ngjela also met with senior representatives of the British Association of Justice and the Open University of Jurists, where he was familiarized closely with the modern British methods of preparing the jurists and advocates. During the meeting, Minister Ngjela insisted in creating the possibilities from the British side for training the judges and the establishment of such a university in Albania. The representatives of the Association promised him possibility to train the Albanian jurists and advocates in England.

    Ngjela was accompanied in the above meetings by the British ambassador in Tirana, Andrew Tessoriere, as well as by the Albanian one in England, Pavli Qesku. /s.sh/jz/mt/k

    [06] HUSBAND, WIFE AND THEIR THREE CHILDREN KILLED IN PROGRADEC

    POGRADEC, MAY 15 (ATA) - The husband, the wife and their three children, from the Velcan village in the district of Pogradec, were killed by fire weapons on Thursday at about 15:00, sources of the police commissariat report.

    The author of the crime, Perparim Cela, from the same village, killed first the citizen Xhevair aela, and then the wife and their three children.

    The motives of the crime are not known yet, report the same sources.

    The investigations continue. /s.sh/jz/mt/k

    [07] FIRE EXCHANGE IN FRONT OF "ROYAL" BAR

    TIRANA, MAY 15 (ATA) - By Atlant Frasheri: Today, at about 11:00, in front of the "Royal" bar, at "Ali Demi" cinema in Tirana, unidentified people shot by fire weapons.

    People, present in the spot, said that several persons shot from a car of "Wolsvagen Golf" type towards a car of "Audi" type.

    It is thought to have been a fire exchange between the rival gangs.

    The police did not give any details on the event, but the witnesses said that one of the persons, who was in the "Audi" car, was injured.

    On the same day, the police informed on the telephone that a bomb was put in a bar oppposite to the Albanian Radio Television. The police intervened and controlled everything in details, but they did not find anything there. /eva/mt/k

    [08] VRANITZKY MEETS WITH FORMER ALBANIAN PREMIER ALEKSANDER MEKSI

    TIRANA, MAY 15 (ATA) - By Atlant Frasheri: The special envoy of OSCE, former chancellor of Austria, Franz Vranitzky, is holding a meeting with the former Albanian Premier, Aleksander Meksi, in bar-restaurant Hotel Rogner Europa Park, in Tirana.

    It is said that the meeting with Meksi has to do with the discussion of the election law, approved by the Parliament. This law is something between the law for the elections of May 26 and that of the year 1992.

    It is thought Meksi to have been called by Vranitzky as an expert, because his government has drafted the election law of 1996.

    Vranitzky arrived Thursday in Tirana to mediate the political debate, which came after the Parliament approved the new election law.

    Vranitzky also met with the Albanian Premier, Bashkim Fino.

    Before the meeting with Meksi, Vranitzky held a meeting with the chairman of the Socialist Party, Fatos Nano, but nothing is reported on what was discussed in this meeting. /eva/mt/k

    [09] FOUR DEAD IN GJIROKASTER AMMUNITION DUMP BLAST

    TIRANA, MAY 15 (ATA)-An ammunition dump in Gjirokaster, southern Albania, was rocked by explosions on Thursday morning, killing four people and injuring 14, Albanian television reports.

    The reasons of the explosion are not known yet. kled/lm/sh/

    [10] POLITICAL PARTIES AWAITING CONSENSUS ON NEW ELECTION LAW

    TIRANA, MAY 15 (ATA)- By R.Floqi, Albanian political parties discussed today by midday, with the mediation of former Austrian chancellor Franz Vranitzky, avenues to reach the necessary consensus on the new election law.

    Vranitzky, according to Albanian politicians, has listened to the various options and pretensions and will present today at 15.15 a variant of the law, which aims at reaching the necessary compromise.

    "We provided Vranitzky with explanations on the possibility of a compromise, making allowances in favour of the small parties," democratic leader Tritan Shehu said after the meeting.

    The SP chairman, Fatos Nano, expressed his conviction that the elections would be held on June 29 with the government of National Reconciliation and the consensus of all parties.

    The discussions resulted that the main objections lay with the modalities of the proportional aspect of the law.

    In general, the leaders of the small parties, which held a separate discussion with Vranitzky were optimistic of reaching a compromise.

    The parties, according to groupings, blame one another for not respecting the May 9 political contract.

    "The position of the SP and of its allies for a proportional law runs contrary to the May 9 political contract," monarchist leader Guri Durollari.

    The small parties insist on reducing from three to two per cent the limit of joining parliament and on calculating the percentage of the deputies' participation on proportional basis. kled/lm/sh/

    [11] LETTER OF MR ARBNORI TO PRESIDENT OF AUSTRIA'S NATIONAL COUNCIL MR FISCHER

    TIRANE, MAY 15 (ATA) - The Chairman of the Presidency of the People's Assembly of Albania, Pjeter Arbnori, has sent a letter to the President of Austria's National Council, Mr Heinz Fischer, which writes:

    "Thank you for your readiness and that of the Parliament you direct to contribute so that elections in Albania be free and democratic. Concerning your questions, I will answer them briefly.

    1. The political contract of May 9 reached between 10 political parties with the contribution of Mr Vranitzki would create a proper basis for the development of the democratic elections in ALbania.

    2. The Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Bashkim Fino, met with me on May 9, 1997 in the morning and handed me a corrected letter of May 8, 1997, where he informed me that he was going to discuss and decide on the draft election law (not by consensus) then he would send it to me immediately for the Parliament to examine the next week.

    Mr Fino gave me the letter, but he did never sent me the draft law.

    The Parliament waited several days and when the limit of 45 days required by law for the pre-electoral campaign was reached, it examined a law which was neither a pure proportional system (asked by SP) nor a pure majority system (asked by DP), but it was a mixed law as stipulated in the Agreement of Mr Vranitzky on May 9. That law had both proportional elements of the law of 1992 (the multi-nominal list of the parties for 40 seats in the parliament) and majority elements of the law of 1996 (115 constituencies in the nominal list.) This law also included the 11 recommendations of the CE, OSCE and ODHIR. Besides, the 4 per cent limit for an access to parliament fell to 3 per cent, something which favours the small parties. Additionally, under a strict supervision of the Central Election Commission, it has been envisaged that TV air be fifty-fifty between the position and opposition parties.

    The consensus between 10 parties does not exist, therefore with the mediation of Mr Vranitzky , the May 9 agreement, which envisages an intermediate solution between the two election systems, was reached. In the conditions when no consensus exists, I am for a maximal nearing of various party positions.

    3. The elections day is set, June 29, 1997, within all the agreements of the political parties reached on March 9 and May 9, 1997.

    The present position of the Socialist Party and some other parties is for the proportional law of 1992 with some corrections. The current position of DP and some other parties which formed on May 14 "The Front for Democracy" is for the combination of a mixed majority-proportional law based on the May 9 political cotract.

    I stress that so far the armed rebel committeed in some southern districts are not disbanded.

    SP threatens that it will boycott the polls if its electoral version is not approved.

    DP complains that so far only it has made concessions (earlier elections, coalition government with SP, lifting of the genocide law etc. etc. and no concessions have been made by SP.

    Nevertheless, I have faith in the intermediate capability of Mr Vranitzky and hope in his impartiality and in the reason of the party leaders," ends the letter of Mr Arbnori addressed to Mr Fischer.ssh/xh/sh/

    [12] COMMANDER OF ALBA MISSION VISITS SHKODER

    SHKODER, MAY 15 (ATA)- By M. Malja, Commander of Operation Alba, Italian General Forlani, visited the Shkoder city, Northwestern Albania, today by midday.

    He also met Prefect Elham Sharra and other local government representatives.

    Sharra familiarised Forlani with the measures taken to stabilise the situation in this district and thanked him for the mission of the Spanish troops, in the context of the multinational forces, to patrol the Lezh-Shkoder-Pukle-Malese e Madhe road.

    Speaking at this meeting Forlani thanked the local authorities for supporting the Spanish troops acting in this region.

    He promised that the multinational forces would soon be deployed also in the Shkoder city. s.sh/kled/lm/sh/

    [13] PRESS RELEASE - Slanders after Gebels methods are suitable only for the newspaper Zeri i Popullit -

    TIRANE, MAY 15 (ATA) - The spokesman of the Interior Ministry reports that with regard to the article frontpaged today in the newspaper ZP, entitled "Agim Shehu has ordered that the prison of Benca be bombed," the Interior Deputy Minister and general director of Police, general lieutenant, Agim Shehu, gives the following pronuncement for the press:

    "I belie as untrue and slanders made to reach vile purposes the article published today in the first page of the newspper Zeri i Popullit, under the title "Agim Shehu has ordered that the prison of Benca be bombed."

    1. It is not true that I have given such an order and I demand that the article be based on witnesses, proofs and facts which should be sent to the Prosecutor's Office, where I have made a denunciation for pennal prosecution for this slander towards me.

    2. The prisons do not depend on the Interior Ministry and the deputy minister is not responsible for their security.

    3. I am not a member of the Defence Council, of the General Command and of the State of Emergency Command. The Army did not depend on me and consequently I could not order military units which have such means to carry out bombardments.

    I stress that the left wing press has also other times made specualtions, slandering against me for deliberate aims, to misinform the public opinion.

    Before publishing the article, ZP should have asked first Fatos Nano where was he several days before the institutions of Tepelena, including the prison of Benca, were stormed. Let this paper ask Nano on the way how he has been treated and secured. Moreover, it had better ask others mentioned in the article, and then let it write.

    Concerning this article, I may say that such plans have existed only in the minds of pathological slanderers and in the propaganda platform of uncorrected gebels and in that of the defunct state sigurimi," ends the pronunciation of the Interior Deputy Minister, Lieutenant General Agim Shehu. s.sh/xh/sh/

    [14] MINISTER OF EDUCATION AND SPORTS INJURED IN ROAD ACCIDENT

    TIRANA, MAY 15 (ATA)- By P. Shuteriqi, Minister of Education and Sports Luan Skuqi, is being treated at the capital's army hospital after an road accident, due to heavy traffic.

    The incident took place yesterday at about 17.00 along the Kavaje-Tirana road. Skuqi, who is also deputy of the Democratic Party, was returning from a meeting of President of the Republic Sali Berisha with inhabitants of the Kavaje town.

    Skuqi is only injured in the right arm and in the eye. kled/lm/sh/

    [15] KILLINGS IN KORCE

    KORCE, MAY 15 (ATA)- By B. Fejzullai, Last night citizen Thimi Sholla in Korce was killed by his friend Nikolin Sotiri, who was later, at 6.a.m., killed by the friends of the victim in front of the Morava cinema.

    According to police commssariat sources, the first killing was committed for personal motives while the second on retiliation. a.ke/kled/lm/sh/

    [16] BIG BLAST ROCKS AMMUNITION DUMP IN GJIROKASTER

    GJIROKASTER, MAY 15 (ATA)-By H. Cani, An ammunition dump at the army unit of Ramancxa, near Picar village, some 18 km north of Gjirokaster, was rocked by explosions on Thursday, injuring 14 people.

    Militaries were removing ammunition from the army depots to more secure places, a statement of the "Laberia" Division command of Gjirokaster confirms.

    The statement says that the blast was triggered as an ammunition case fell on the ground, with a shell causing the explosion.

    Afterwards, six high ranking officers of the division have received burns and are being treated at the Ioannina hospital.

    Meanwhile, at the Gjirokaster regional hospital, according to surgeon Igli Kokalari, there are eight military officers, all treated for burns, but they, nevertheless, are out of danger.

    The Secretary of State at the Interior Ministry, Lush Perpali, as well as a team of the Romanian battalion "St. George" of the mission Alba have been on the spot, where explosions continued until 13.00. a.ke/kled/lm/sh/

    [17] GREEK CONSULATE AND KAKAVIJE CUSTOMS POINT REOPEN IN GJIROKASTER

    GJIROKASTER, MAY 15 (ATA)-By H.Cani, The Greek consulate in the Gjirokaster town resumed operation after two days of interruption, and the border crossing point of Kakavije has reopened.

    Today, with the police of the district commissariat assuming full responsibility for securing the headquarters of the consulate and its personnel, the granting of visas to Albanian citizens resumed.

    Romanian troops of "St.George" battalion are securing the free movement of the people and vehicles at the Kakavije border crossing point. a.ke/kled/lm/sh/

    [18] PRIME MINISTER FINO VISITS MINISTER SKUQI AT HOSPITAL

    TIRANA, MAY 15 (ATA)-Prime Minister of Government of National Reconciliation Bashkim Fino visited the Minister of Education and Sports, Luan Skuqi, at the Tirana Military Hospital this morning. Skuqi was injured in a road accident yesterday.

    According to the spokesman, Fino, after familiarising himself with the environments and the already improved health condition of Skuqi, wished him a speedy recovery. a.ke/lm/sh/

    [19] PREMIER FINO MEETS MR VRANITZKY

    TIRANE, MAY 15 (ATA) - At the beginning of the meeting with the OSCE special envoy, Austrian Former Chancellor Franz Vranitzky, today, Albanian Premier Bashkim Fino spoke of his very successful visit to the U.S., the messages for a powerful support of the high U.S. Administration and their high appreciation for the OSCE mission and for Mr Vranitzky himself.

    As the Premier's spokesman reports, Mr Fino voiced his profound concern for the unilateral passing of the election draft law to by the Democratic Party, although he had informed through an official letter the Parliament Speaker that right after his return from the U.S. he would present to the Parliament himself the draft of the election law, approved in principle by the Government and which had to be finalized by all the parties until May 12, according to the Political Contract.

    This, said Mr Fino, is an unacceptable imposition to the spirit of consensus and aims at excluding unjustly from the electoral process the Government for National Reconciliation, which for known reasons, must have the law-making initiative in this direction of priority of its activity.

    Saying that he had also expressed his concerns in the Parliament yesterday, Albanian Prime Minister appealed for maximal commitment of the external factor and especially of the OSCE mission to the adoption of concrete measures in this field, so that the coming electoral process be free, fair and realiable for the people.

    Former Chancellor Franz Vranitzky expressed to Mr Fino, first of all, his congratulations for the fruitful visit to the U.S. and highlighted his mature and balanced decision to continue the work at the head of the government despite the extremely difficult and complex conditions created by the events of the last two days, which happened precisely at the time when Mr Fino was abroad. Mr Vranitzky stressed that his mission and that of all the international community in Albania is to support of the National Reconciliation Government as a representative of the consensus of 10 Albanian political forces and as their number 1 negotiator and partner.

    Mr Vranitzky pointed out the importance of a political decision for setting the date of the elections within June 29 and to eliminate every factor that would postpone this date. This would help both the Albanian political forces and the international community to make serious preparations for the further technical stages, starting with the electors' lists, organization of the proper structures of the order and the security of the numerous international monitors who will come on this occasion, up to the preparation of the final report on the ballot.

    What happened in the last two days, he stressed, does not mean that the international community would allow the coming elections not to be free and fair, on the contrary, it is taking measures and is totally predisposed for a normal conduct of the polls. The question is, he said, that the necessary compromise must be reached amidst various viewpoints and interests of the political parties, something which requires dialogue and political wisdom.

    Mr Vranitzky also mentioned the necessary observation of the point of the Political Contract which deals with a reformulation of the anti-genocide law and other important aspects concerning the coming elections. ake/xh/sh/

    [20] DRAFT-LAW ON SEVERAL CHANGES TO LAW ON ELECTIONS TO PEOPLE'S ASSEMBLY TO BE REEXAMINED

    TIRANA, MAY 15 (ATA)- President of the Republic Sali Berisha has decided to refer back for reexamination the law 8218, dated 13.05.1997 "On some changes to the law 7556, dated 4,02.1992 'On elections to the People's Assembly of the Republic of Albania'", changed by the law 8143, dated 11.09.1996.

    The President of the Republic, based on the main constitutional provisions and the request of several political parties decided:

    1.The law 8218, dated 13.05.1997 "On some changes to the law 7556, dated 4.02.1992 'On elections to the People's Assembly of the Republic of Albania'", changed by the law 8143, dated 11.09.1996, be referred back for reexamination of the People's Assembly.

    2.The People's Assembly and the initiating group of this draft-law to reexamine the law in order to possibly decide a greater favour for the small parties.

    3.This decision comes into force immediately.

    Speaker of Parliament Pjeter Arbnori told the deputies that Prime Minister Fino had said he would submit the draft-law presented by the government for this issue. But he said the presidency had not reached consensus to discuss this draft-law.

    The head of the Democratic Party parliamentary group , Ali Spahia, declared himself against discussing the draft-law of Mr Fino, as, he said, "We do not yet have the draft in our hands."

    This sitting approved the proposal of President of the Republic Sali Berisha for electing Ms Atalanta Pasko member of the Steering Council of the Albanian Radio-Television.

    Pasko is currently directress of ATA Department for Foreign Relations. Pasko's candidature was unanimously approved. kled/lm/sh/

    [21] SHKODER PREFECT VISITS SPANISH TROOPS COMMAND AT SHENGJIN

    SHENGJIN, MAY 15 (ATA)- By Z. Pergega, A meeting of representatives of the Shkoder prefecture, the command of the district division and police commissariat was held at the command of the Spanish troops deployed at the Shengjin town, in the context of the "Alba" mission, today.

    Lieutenant-Colonel Alonso told the participants at the meeiting that all the demands and needs presented by Shkoder for aid in food and medicines have been deposited at the CIMIC centre, which has made them present to various humanitarian organisations in several western states, which are expected to deliver them soon.

    The prefect of Shkoder, Elham Sharra, described the grave situation existing in the Shkoder city and concentrated on the indispensability of installing in this city a unit of the Spanish troops, as they will escort the humanitarian supplies on the Lezhe-Shkoder-Koplik axis.a.ke/kled/lm/sh/

    [22] TWO BROTHERS KILLED IN BERAT

    BERAT, MAY 15 (ATA)-Two brothers, 25 and 23, were killed in Berat yesterday.

    Police sources say that the murders were committed for settling accounts. Many of these murders have been committed by family members in retaliation for kidnaping or sending girls out of the state for prostitution, and some have been committed against individuals who have recently kidnaped people for ransom.

    The latest killings have been committed in self-defence against attacks or kidnaping.

    More than 78 people have been killed in Berat since disturbances began.

    Another 25-year-old from Uznove is reported killed for unknown reasons. a.ke/kled/lm/sh/

    [23] SOME 450 PERIODICALS PUBLISHED SINCE 1991 IN ALBANIA

    TIRANA, MAY 15 (ATA)-By Keida Kostreci, Some 450 newspapers and magazines have been published since 1991 in Albania, also including those existing before 1991.

    The number of the periodicals published before 1991 did not exceed 90.

    The exhibition "The Freedom of the Press in the years of democracy", which was held on Wednesday in one of the halls of the National Library in Tirana, the first of this kind in Albania, undertakes to cover the press of the years 1991-1996.

    The topics which were a taboo before 1991, such as Eros and religion, are covered by special magazines and papers.

    Numerous are the periodicals for children, entertainment, youth, sports etc.

    The cultural magazines have increased in number as they include authors previously unknown or banned.

    Since the beginning of this year, the National Library has organised the exhibition of the Arberesh, Albanian, French and German book.lm/sh/

    [24] MULTINATIONAL FORCES SURVEY MAT DISTRICT

    BURREL, MAY 15 (ATA)-By H. Ruspi, A group of multinational forces made a reconnaissance of the Mat district today. Headed by Italian and French captains, they also contacted local government leaders in this distrcit.

    The multinational forces were familiarised with the situation in this district following the latest turmoil, the measures taken to store and distribute aid, the activity of the police commissariat and other issues.

    Local government leaders stressed the need of installing multinational forces in the Burrel town and the indispensability that they patrol the main axis of the Milot-customs point of Bllata in Diber road, where travellers have often been threatened by armed gangs. a.ke/kled/lm/sh/

    [25] ELECTION LAW TO BE SENT BACK TO PARLIAMENT WITH AMENDMENTS

    TIRANA, MAY 15 (ATA)- By K. Kostreci, The election law will be sent back to Albanian parliament with a couple of amendments on Thursday evening, former Austrian chancellor Franz Vranitzky told a news conference in Tirana this afternoon.

    Vranitzky also said that the Government has as well prepared a draft-law on elections.

    "I deem it necessary and very significant that the parliamentarians try to find a compromise over the various ideas the two different draft-laws might carry," he said.lm/sh/

    [26] ELECTION LAW TO BE SENT BACK TO PARLIAMENT WITH AMENDMENTS

    TIRANA, MAY 15 (ATA)- By K. Kostreci, The election law will be sent back to Albanian parliament with a couple of amendments on Thursday evening, former Austrian chancellor Franz Vranitzky told a news conference in Tirana this afternoon. Vranitzky also said that the Government has as well prepared a draft-law on elections.

    "I deem it necessary and very significant that the parliamentarians try to find a compromise over the various ideas the two different draft-laws might carry," he said.

    He added that "a postponement for the election would not ease the situation in Albania."

    In reply to a question, Mr Vranitzky said that what Albania needs are the elections before summer, elections which must be fair, and free serving as the beginning of a new democratic wind in this country and for a reconstruction of the economy.

    Concerning the economic situation of Albania, Mr Vranitzky said that is should be considered as a priority essential issue for the economic and financial cooperation of this country with international organizations.

    In response to the question what guarantees had Vranitzky that the Albanian political parties would make what he had suggested to them (the compromise) he said:

    "The guarantee is the high objective of the politicians to find a solution for the situation."

    The difficulties for an agreement betw een this country's political parties were explained by Mr Vranitzkky with the fact that "after a long isolation, it is difficult for the people to solve the situation."

    Asked whether they had discussed committies, Mr Vranitzky said it was not possible to discuss such an issue because during the discussions he and the political forces were very busy with the question of the law on elections. lm/xh

    [27] ARMY DEPOT NEAR GJIROKASTER IN FLAMES

    TIRANE, MAY 15 (ATA) - Reports from the Division of Gjirokaster say that a grave event took place in the Picar, near Gjirokaster at 10.00 a.m. today. An army depot burst into flames. The cause of the fire might be some sort of burning inside or a spark in the shells in the depot.

    As a result of the explosion, 10 officers of the staff of the Division of Gjirokaster were injured. In implementation of the task of accumulating, making the inventory and systematization in safer ammunition depots, militaries of the Division of Gjiokaster, with their senior officers in the lead, were working for the transportation of the ammunition from the depot on the ground to another depot in a tunnel.

    Right after the explosion, the Gjirokaster hospital staff, Romanian Multinational forces and people from Picar and Gjirokaster went to the spot to help the injured officers. Also a group of specialists of the Interior Ministry went to the scene to see the situation.

    As a result of the explosion and the fire, 10 militaries were injured. Six of them were taken to the hospital of Ioannina, and from there, five were sent to a hospital of Athens for treatment.

    Reports from Iaonnina say that one of the officers died. Four are out of danger in the hospital of Gjirokaster. xh

    [28] POLITICAL STATEMENT OF MR FRANZ VRANITZKY

    TIRANE, MAY 15 (ATA) - "I travelled to Tirana to affirm all the agreements made by all the parties in the May 9, 1997 political contract. I found a climate of a great lack of trust between the parties with regard to the approval of the law on elections," said Mr Vranitzky in his statement.

    "The Albanian people and the international community are very much concerned about the impossibility of the parties to go further ahead regarding the elections on the basis of the inter-party consensus. I have continuously stressed that free and fair elections are the only resolution to the continuous political, economic and security crisis Albania is facing.

    If the process does not start immediately, I fear the administration of the elections would not be able to accomplish all the efficient technical procedures within the deadline set for the polls. Further delays will not improve the present situation and will question the readiness of the international community to provide economic and technical assistane, it will endager the concrete assistance the international community plans to offer to the Albanian people in the realisation of the elections, which really reflect the people's will.

    In the present circumstances, I may feel forced to recommend OSCE and CE as well as other international institutions to reconsider their commitment to the monitoring of the elections.

    From my talks with the President, the Prime Minister and party leaders today, I noticed a sort of flexibility, but also a continuous lack of trust. The positions of the parties seem to be closed and further arguments on details would not lead to any further results. Before the law is signed by the President, the following amendments presented by the Government of National Reconciliation must be included in the draft law on elections. The limit for an access to the parliament according to the proportional list will be two per cent of the valid ballots.

    The ballots for the parties which have not reached this limit, will be distributed among the parties that have surpassed this limit, with the exception of the two parties which take the majority of ballots;

    75 per cent of the 40 seats from the proportional list will be distributed to all the parties except for the two parties which have taken the majority of the votes.

    The President of the Republic must set up a new Central Election Commission;

    The chairman and the deputy chairman of each electoral commission (Central Commission, Constituency Commission and of the polling stations) will be named by the President of the Republic, from the candidates proposed by two national main parties;

    The decisions of all the electoral commission will be taken by the majority of votes and signed together by the Chairman and his deputy.

    All the members of the commissions will be selected from the candidates proposed by the competitive parties as follows:

    - the Electoral Constituency Commission by the Central Electoral Commission;

    - The Polling Station Commission by the corresponding constitutency commissions;

    - Each commission will elect its secretary from among its members.

    The Central Electoral Commission will appoint a delegate in the Electoral Division of the Interior Ministry. The Central Electoral Commission will publish a regulation for other electoral commissions.

    In order to contribute to the transparence of the electoral process, the electoral commissions of the polling stations will hand over the ballots and other materials in the corresponding constituency in no less than 24 hours after the closing of the polls. The electoral commissions of the constituencies will send to the polling station a copy of the results received from them. Each Electoral zonal commission will hand over the ballots and materials to the Central Electoral Commission in no less than 24 hours after the reporting of the commission of the last polling station. The materials which carry the full outcome of the polls from the polling stations will be handed over no later that 30 days from the declaration of the official results.

    The role of the public administration will be to carry out the administrative and logistic preparations for the election under the direction of the Central Electoral Commmission and the electoral commissions.

    The International Community is ready to assist immediately the national and local authorities to start the process of electors' registration with the necessary measures of security in order to ensure the integrity of the local electoral process.

    In order to improve the climate of confindecne in the democratic process at home and outside as well, we have agreed on the following measures:

    - The Observation Commission of the electronic media will be responsible for all the programs not only to set the TV air for the electoral campaign but also for all the programs including the news hour. Each party represented in the National Reconciliation Government will elect one member of the commission. The representatives of the two main parties will share the presidency of the Commission. The Commission will have an office in the TV premises and will have access to information in all the editorial meetings and will report directly to the Central Electoral Commission.

    As stipulated in the May 9 Political Contract signed by all the parties, the parties have the responsiblity to create a basis for the elections which will really reflect the will of the Albanian people. xh


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