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Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA), 97-05-16
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From: The Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA) Home Page at <http://www.telpress.it/ata>
Albanian Telegraphic Agency
 ALBANIAN PARLIAMENT ADOPTS LAW ON ELECTIONS, SOCIALISTS DO NOT TAKE PART IN VOTINGTIRANE, MAY 16 (ATA) - Early in the morning today, Albanian Parliament adopted the law on elections. The final variant of the law on elections carries some amendments by President Berisha, suggestions by Austrian former Chancellor, Franz Vranitzky, OSCE envoy, and parts from the law proposed by the Government.
The parliament session opened with the presentation of the law on elections drafted by the government. The Socialist parliamentary group requested that the Judicial Commission should consider the law on elections proposed by the government and so it did, but after several hours of debate in this commission, no consensus was reached. The Socialist parliamentary group did not enter the parliament hall.
Then, the voting for the law started in which the amendments of President Berisha and of former chancellor Vranitzky were taken into consideration along with many parts from the law on elections proposed by the Prime Minister of the Government for National Reconciliation, Bashkim Fino. The approved law is a mixed law according to which 115 deputies are elected on the basis of the majority system and 40 according to the proportional. 25 per cent of the seats in the parliament from the proportional system will be shared among the two first main parties, and the rest, 75 per cent, of these seats will be divided among the small parties.xh
 PRESIDENT BERISHA MEETS WITH FORMER CHANCELLOR VRANITZKYTIRANA, MAY 15 (ATA) - The Albanian President, Sali Berisha, met Thursday with former chancellor Vranitzky and the delegation that accompanied him, President's Press and Information Office reports.
I think, said President Berisha to Vranitzky, that the political contract of May 9 should be not renegotiated, but it should be respected. We have appreciated it as an important achievement, and we are resolute to respect it completely. The election law corresponds with the political contract. It guarantees legal base for free and fair elections and I asked Parliament on Thursday to amend it to favour the small parties by reducing the minimal limit in two per cent, as well as with the redistribution of the proportional representation in favour of these parties. This enlarges the basis of the Parliament and its pluralism, creates conditions for alliances before and after the elections.
But, I should stress and express my fear, said Berisha, that there are forces which are not interested in the conduct of elections, which are the only way to pull the country out of this situation.
I, personally, stressed Berisha, insist in the necessity of holding free and fair elections and respecting the political contract of May 9, 1997.
Former chancellor Vranitzky said that he considered very important the conduct of elections and necessary the application of the political contract. /mt/k
 SP WILL NOT PARTICIPATE IN ELECTIONS IF PRESIDENT BERISHA WILL DECREE THE LAW APPROVED THURSDAY - NanoTIRANA, MAY 16 (ATA) - The socialist leader, Fatos Nano declared after the meeting with the OSCE envoy, Franz Vranitzky, that the Socialist Party will not take part in the elections of June, approved Thursday by the Parliament, if President Sali Berisha will decree the law on elections, reported by Radio Tirana in the news edition at 11:00./kled/mt/sh/
 ISRAEL SENDS AID TO ALBANIATIRANE, MAY 15 (ATA) - The Israeli Government has decided to bring to Albania some scores of tons of wheat flour to meet the needs of hundreds of Albanian families for the next three months, a press communique of the Israel's Embassy in Rome says. The project will be realised through the U.N. PMA (World FooD Program.)
This aid is an act of solidarity with the Albanian people which confirms the close historical relations existing between the two peoples and which was manifested during the Second World War when Albanian protected all the Hebrews who were in Albania from the Nazi persecution, the communique points out.
The Israeli donation will be handed over today to the PMA executive director in Rome by the permament Israeli representative of this organization. rxh/xh/k
 LAW ON ELECTIONS CARRIES ALL REQUESTS OF OSCE - ParliamentTIRANA, MAY 16 (ATA) - By R. Floqi: The Albanian Parliament adopted Friday at 04.00 a.m., after 5 hours and a half of discussion, "The new law on elections". This law carries all the requests, presented Thursday by the OSCE envoy, Vranitzky. The parliament had in its agenda the review of the law, after it was returned by the President, for improvements in favour of small parties.
The law was approved only by the votes of the democratic Party. The deputies of the Socialist Party left the parliament sitting, although their opinion to discuss the Law in the commission of laws, presented by Premier Fino at 11:30, was accepted.
After the debate, the parliament accepted the proposal of Premier Fino to take into consideration and examine his variant. Some requests, proposed by Vranitzky, were not included in the law, proposed by the Government.
"Consensus should be reached, the Albanians can reach it, without the mediation of foreigners," said Fino at the beginning of his speech.
"The approved law carries all the requests proposed by the OSCE mediator, by President Berisha, where there are also included a series of amendments, presented in the law of Government," said DP chairman, Tritan Shehu, after the approval.
The SP parliamentary group, after a long discussion in the commission of laws, did not accept to enter the hall and made no statements. The same way acted Premier Fino. After the socialists left, the independent deputies participant in the party "Movement for Democracy," as well as the deputy of National Front, Hysen Selfo followed them.
The socialist group left, according to Namik Dokle, chairman of SP group, because:
"DP did not take into consideration the request of SP to discuss the law, presented by the Government of National Reconciliation. It should not discuss the law brought to Parliament by Arbnori and Spahia, and returned to be decreed by President Berisha".
The discussion of the government law was taken into consideration by the election commission, but the parliamentary groups of SP and DP did not come to terms for the point 6, presented in the law of the Government.
The SP parliamentary group, after it did not agree on this article, threatened it will boycott the elections.
This article does not consider the consensus reached in the contract with Vranitzky for a voting in two rounds and a division in which 115 deputies are elected on the basis of the majority system and 40 according to the proportional," said the DP leader, Tritan Shehu.
Vranitzky had reported during a news conference that OSCE supported this division of constituencies. The OSCE specialists and representatives stayed until the end of the voting of law in Parliament.
The article 6 of the law, in which the consensus was not reached, is drafted on the basis of the law of 1992 which says:
"The People's Assembly is made up of not less than 140 deputies, of whom, 100 deputies are elected directly by one nominal constituencies, while the compensating mandates are given to the candidates who are in the multi-nominal lists of the electoral subjects, according to the proportion of the valid votes, won by them in the whole country."
The voted law adopted a series of requests, presented by Vranitzky, so that the limit of taking up the seats according to the proportional system will be two per cent of the valid votes.
The votes won by the parties which do not reach this limit will be divided among the parties that have passed this limit, except the two parties which win the majority of votes.
75 per cent of the forty seats of the proportional system will be divided among all the parties, except the two main parties which have won the majority of votes.
Several requests, regarding the constructing and functions of the electoral commissions and covering the election campaign in the electronic media, were also adopted. /pas/mt/k
 "IT'S ON THE SHOULDERS OF THE ALBANIAN POLITICIANS TO PUT INTO REALITY WHAT THEY HAVE SIGNED" - VranitzkyTIRANA, MAY 16 (ATA) - By Keida Kostreci: "It is on the shoulders of the Albanian politicians to put into reality what they have signed," special envoy of OSCE, Franz Vranitzky, told a news conference on Friday.
"My mission in Albania is not finished and the international community will continue to cooperate with Albania," said Vranitzky. /mt/k
 PLANES ON ELECTIONS HAVE FORMALLY BEEN FULFILLED - VranitzkyTIRANA, MAY 16 (ATA) - By Keida Kostreci: From a formal point of view the planes have been fulfilled, with the approvement of the electoral law has been approved by parliament last night, the special envoy of OSCE, Franz Vranitzky told a news conference on Friday.
"The planes were that should be an electoral law, that should be an election before summer", said Vranitzky.
According to Vranitzky it is on the shoulders of the Albanian politicians to put into reality what they have signed.
"My mission in Albania is not finished and the international community will continue to cooperate with Albania," Vranitzky told reporters. /mt/k
 ALBANIANS TO CARRY OUT CUSTOMS PROCEDURES IN GREEK TERRITORY FOR KAKAVIJE AND KAPSHTICE BY MAY 19TIRANA, MAY 16 (ATA)- By A. Keko, The final agreement was reached for the Albanian customs bodies to begin to carry out customs procedures in the Greek territory for the Kakavije and Kapshtice customs points, after the request of the Government of National Reconciliation made to the Greek Government, after specialists' bilateral talks and with the constant support of the Greek government.
Finance Ministry official sources say that based on a verbal note of the Greek embassy in Tirana, which is an official confirmation of the Greek government to immediately start work at the two countries' customs points, Finance Minister Arben Malaj met with the Greek ambassador in Tirana today.
Malaj, after thanking the Greek ambassador for the readiness and assistance of the Greek government and of the Greek embassy in Tirana, officially confirmed him that by May 19, the Albanian customs bodies will begin regular and full application of the customs procedures in the Greek territory, in cooperation with the Greek customs bodies. a.ke/jz/lm/Z
 PLANS FOR ELECTIONS HAVE FORMALLY BEEN FULFILLED - VranitzkyTIRANA, MAY 16(ATA)- Albanian parliament passed the election law last night. Plans have formally been fulfilled. Plans were to pass the election law and hold elections before summer began, special OSCE envoy Franz Vranitzky told a news conference today.
However, I am much concerned over the fact that a number of parties have said they may reconsider the possibility of not taking part in the elections.
According to the political contract signed on May 9 by all the parties participating in the Government of National Reconciliation, an important discovery was achieved.
However, the various political parties on one side and the DP on the other are far from each other as regards putting this agreement into practical political life during this process.
This is the reason the political dialogue in this country should continue.
For this reason, I urgently talked to President Berisha this morning so that he meets Prime Minister Fino to find the ways to cope with this situation.
First, I would like to stress what I have said since at the beginning of this mission that first of all we are faced with a crisis with deep economic and social roots. We are also faced with a complex political situation. Then, I said that the elections would not be easily and quickly found.
Second, the international community was called for help. It positively responded to this call as Albania is our member country, a member country which we wish to support and a member country which we ask to act in accordance with the OSCE and CE principles.
Third, for this reason the Albanian politicians must be aware of the fact that under these conditions the international community may reconsider its preparedness to offer assistance. It is about the humanitarian, economic, financial aid as well as that of preparing and monitoring the forthcoming elections.
The OSCE and CE are in Albania to provide a broad support as regards the holding of elections. We also are here to help the Albanian authorities to avoid irregularities. We also support them to avert putting into question the election result.
 LAW ON ELECTIONS APPROVED TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION SUGGESTED CHANGESTIRANE, MAY 16 (ATA) - On May 15, late at night, the Albanian People's Assembly convened to reexamine the law on elections, sent back to the parliament by the President of Albania, in order that it see the possibility for greater allowances for the small parties in the distribution of the mandates of the proportional lists, the People's Assembly press and information office reports.
In the session held for this purpose, upon a request of the Democratic Party Parliamentary Group, the People's Assembly also included in the agenda the discussion of all the amendments to the law on elections suggested by the OSCE delegation and upon the request of the Prime Minister, it also discussed the respective draft of the law on elections he had presented.
After the amendments were examined by the Commission of Laws, the Parliament found them right and included in the law on elections all the OSCE delegation suggestions. Besides, it also considered right to add to the law a considerable number of articles from the draft law of the Premier Fino. It also took into consideration a great part of them, and decided to include these articles in the law on elections.
Today, the law adopted with yesterday's changes, which have considerably improved the system, procedure and transparence of the electoral process, was sent to the President of the Republic to be proclaimed. ake/xh/Z
 PRESIDENT BERISHA MEETS FORMER AUSTRIAN CHANCELLOR VRANITZKYTIRANA, MAY 16 (ATA)- President of the Republic Sali Berisha met former Austrian chancellor Vranitzky, at the latter's request this morning.
According to the President's Press and Information Office, President Berisha expressed his delight and assured Vranitzky that the election law approved after long discussions last night in parliament, includes all the suggestions made in yesterday's statement of Mr Vranitzky, as well as many articles of the draft presented by the government, making it a law favouring the small parties, allowing a full contest of the main parties, ensuring a broader pluralist spectrum of parliament and imposing coalitions.
Thus, the passed law puts the two first parties in almost equal conditions and favours all the other smaller parties. It reduces to two percent the minimum limit for the small parties to take part in parliament.
It reserves three fourth of the 40 deputies of the proportional to the small parties, only. All the votes of the subjects, which do not reach the two per cent limit, are allocated only to the small parties.
So, the coming parliament will have the broadest basis and the fullest representation of the Albanian electorate as compared with all the previous parliaments and will also be made up of at least 4-5 parliamentary groups.
Last night, speaker of Parliament Pjeter Arbnori, although beyond the parliament's procedure, decided to discuss the electoral law of Mr Fino and on the suggestion of the law commission, the parliament took into consideration many amendments from this law. Here are also included all yesterday's OSCE recommendations.
"I hold this law completely conforms to the May 9 political contract, by my decision, at your request as well as at the SP request expressed also yesterday after meeting with you to favour the small parties," President Berisha said.
He also stressed that "We remain interested in holding free and fair elections, as the only way to pull Albania out of the crisis.
Those who today are not pleased with this law, yesterday in their meeting with you criticised the previous law as if it did not consider the small parties. Now that it favours them, they threaten to boycott the elections."
Berisha holds that those who oppose a law which is in full conformity with the Political Contract, should bear full responsibility before the Albanians and the whole international community for blocking these elections.
Berisha confirmed his full commitment to closely cooperate with the Government of National Reconciliation and Prime Minister Fino for a successful electoral process and for free and fair elections. a.ke/jz/lm/Z
 PRESIDENT BERISHA DECREES PROMULGATION OF SEVERAL LAWSTIRANE, MAY 16 (ATA) - Today, the President of Albania, SaliBerisha, decreed the declaration of the law No 8218, dated May, 16, 1997 "On some changes to the law No 7556, dated February 4, 1992 "On elections to the People's Assembly of the Republic of Albania" changed with the law No 8143, dated September, 11, 1996.
Additionally, President Berisha decreed the declaration of the law No 8219, dated May 13, 1997 "On a change to the law No 8001, dated September, 22, 1995 "On genocide and crimes against humanity committed in Albania under communist domination for political, ideological and religious motives," and of the law No 8220, dated May 13, 1997 "On a change to the law 8043, dated November, 30, 1995 "On scrutinity of the figure of officials and other people who are linked with the defence of the democratic state," ends the report of the President's press and information office. ake/xh/
 LETTER OF SECRETARY GENERAL OF OSCE PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY TO ALBANIAN PARLIAMENT SPEAKERTIRANE, MAY 16 (ATA) - The Chairman of the Presidency of the People's Assembly, Pjeter Arbnori, has received a letter by Spencer Oliver, Secretary General of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, which says:
The chairman of the Presidency of the People's Assembly of Albania, Pjeter Arbnori, has invited the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly to monitor the coming elections in Albania due on June 29, 1997.
President Havier Ruperez has decided to lead personally the delegation of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. The delegation plans to work together with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the European Parliament and the North Atlantic Assembly.
It is evident that the election date is very near the date for the beginning of the Annual Session, to be held in Warsaw from 5-9th of July, 1997, nevetheless, these elections are very important for finding a solution to the present crisis in Albania. The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly plans to send in Albania at least 40 parliamentarians to take part in this project and it hopes that OSCE will be able to complete such a great delegation. ake/xh/Z
 PRIME MINISTER FINO MEETS WORLD BANK MISSIONTIRANA, MAY 16 (ATA)- Prime Minister Fino, accompanied by Finance Minister Malaj, met today with the World Bank mission, headed by its director for Central Europe, Hans Apitz.
Apitz showed interest in the political climate in Albania and the possibility of realising a political solution through fresh elections.
He said that the World Bank saw the economic assistance to Albania closely linked with the improvement of the economic and financial legislation of the country.
He expressed the indispensability of a establishing a normality in the fiscal, customs sector, especially, in banking system, which, he said, is in a deplorable condition. He promised concrete aid based on the fulfilment of certain preconditions.
An important issue for recovering the economic situation in Albania and securing foreign aid, Apitz also considered the transparence of the pyramid firms.
In this field he confirmed the readiness of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund for continuous assistance and cooperation.
But he asked on behalf of the World Bank and IMF a common stand on the part of the respective institutions, also making remarks on the law passed by parliament recently. jz/lm/Z
 DISSOLUTION OF ALBANIAN PARLIAMENT DECREEDTIRANE, MAY 16 (ATA) - Taking into consideration the will of the political parties expressed in the agreement reached with the OSCE envoy for the conduct of earlier elections to the People's Assembly within June 1997, and on the basis of the declaration of the parliament of May 13, 1997 for its dissolution, Albanian President's press and information office, Sali Berisha, decreed today the dissolution of the People's Assembly before the completion of the mandate of the legislature and the holding of the new parliamentary elections on June 29, 1997, the report says in conclusion.lgj/xh/
 PRESIDENT BERISHA MEETS PREMIER FINOTIRANE, MAY 16 (ATA) - The Albanian President's press and information office reports that President Sali Berisha and Premier Bashkim Fino had a meeting today. They discussed the electoral process and expressed the determination to cooperate for an electoral process which would create the premises for free and fair elections and for their successful realisation.
They also agreed to cooperate for the naming of the central election commission, ends the report.lgj/xh/
 ANOTHER ATTEMPT TO BLOW UP KARDHIQI BRIDGE IN GJIROKASTERGJIROKASTER, MAY 16 (ATA)- By H.Cani, A big explosion of TNT occurred on the Kardhiqi bridge, 10km North of Gjirokaster last night.
The explosion of one of two cases of 30 kg TNT each, placed on the bridge, damaged for the second time the bridge of 1939, project of Italian engineers.
The damage of one of the three arches of the bridge now allows only a one side passage of the vehicles with a cargo under 15 tonnes.
On May 2, unknown persons tried to blow up the bridge with the same amount of TNT. The nearby buildings have been again damaged. There are no damages in people. jz/lm/Z/
 EXPLOSIVE MATERIAL COLLECTED BY POLICE IN DURRESDURRES, MAY 16(ATA)- By S. Gjordeni, Police commissariat yesterday collected in Durres 93 hand grenades, offensive and defensive, eight kg of dynamite, 500 metres of fuel, detonators as well as a large number of shells.
While today, the group of experts of this commissariat, after announcement from several citizens, defused three bomb shells remaining since the time of the World War two on the "Moisiu" hill. s.sh/eva/lm/Z
 SOME 100 000 ECU ACCORDED TO PRIVATISE ALBANIAN HEALTH SERVICETIRANA, MAY 16 (ATA)- By A. Milo, The European Union has accorded 100 000 ECU for the privatisation of the Albanian Health Service over the last two years, according to sources of the Ministry of Health and Environment.
The fund is backed by the German-Spanish Masys-Iese Consortium. eva/lm/Z
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