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Voice of America, 97-06-28

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>


CONTENTS

  • [01] ALBANIA ONITER BY KYLE KING (TIRANA)
  • [02] ALBANIA POL (L) BY KYLE KING (TIRANA)

  • [01] ALBANIA ONITER BY KYLE KING (TIRANA)

    DATE=6/28/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-216416
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: VOTERS IN ALBANIA GO TO THE POLLS SUNDAY IN ELECTIONS THAT COULD MAKE OR BREAK EFFORTS TO BRING A MEASURE OF STABILITY BACK TO THE COUNTRY. FROM TIRANA, VOA'S KYLE KING REPORTS.

    TEXT: INTERNATIONAL OFFICIALS SAY HUNDREDS OF OBSERVERS ARE NOW IN PLACE TO MONITOR THE ELECTION, WHICH WAS CALLED AT THE PEAK OF THE VIOLENCE AND ANARCHY THAT HAS SWEPT THE NATION SINCE THE COLLAPSE OF HIGH RISK INVESTMENT SCHEMES.

    THE SITUATION IN THE COUNTRY WAS MOSTLY CALM ON THE EVE OF THE VOTE, BUT ORGANIZERS WERE STILL WORKING TO GET BALLOTS TO SOME REGIONS AND MAY BE FORCED TO THE DELAY THE OPENING OF SOME POLLING STATIONS.

    INTERNATIONAL OFFICIALS SAY THEY DO NOT EXPECT THE VOTE TO BE PERFECT. BUT THEY ARE HOPING TO AVOID A REPEAT OF THE VIOLENCE AND FRAUD THAT TOOK PLACE LAST YEAR, IN ELECTIONS WHICH GAVE PRESIDENT SALI BERISHA'S DEMOCRATIC PARTY A HUGE MAJORITY IN PARLIAMENT.

    A SEVEN THOUSAND MAN MULTI NATIONAL FORCE IS HELPING PROVIDE SOME SECURITY FOR THE ELECTION, WHICH ANALYSTS SAY HAS BECOME A REFERENDUM ON MR. BERISHA'S LEADERSHIP OF THE IMPOVERISHED BALKAN NATION. (SIGNED)
    NEB/KBK/SD
    28-Jun-97 5:00 PM EDT (2100 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] ALBANIA POL (L) BY KYLE KING (TIRANA)

    DATE=6/28/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-216408
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: LAST MINUTE PREPARATIONS ARE UNDER WAY FOR SUNDAY'S FIRST ROUND OF ELECTIONS IN THE VIOLENCE-TORN NATION OF ALBANIA. FROM THE ALBANIAN CAPITAL, VOA'S KYLE KING REPORTS.

    TEXT: THE CANDIDATES TOOK A DAY OFF FROM CAMPAIGNING AS EUROPEAN OFFICIALS WERE RUSHING TO GET OBSERVERS IN PLACE AND DELIVER FRESHLY PRINTED BALLOTS TO POLLING STATIONS.

    INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS WILL BE TRYING TO MONITOR THE ELECTIONS, WHICH WERE CALLED IN MARCH DURING THE HEIGHT OF UNREST TRIGGERED BY THE COLLAPSE OF PYRAMID INVESTMENT SCHEMES.

    DESPITE THE UNEASY CALM THAT HAS DESCENDED ON THE COUNTRY, OBSERVERS SAY THEY ARE WORRIED ABOUT POSSIBLE VIOLENCE ON ELECTION DAY.

    OUTSIDE THE CAPITAL IN THE TINY VILLAGE OF FARKA, A MIDDLE-AGED MOTHER OF FOUR SAID SHE IS CONCERNED ABOUT A REPEAT OF THE CHEATING, FRAUD AND VIOLENCE THAT TOOK PLACE DURING LAST YEAR'S ELECTIONS.

    // WOMAN IN ALBANIAN, FADE UNDER //

    YES, THERE HAVE BEEN PROBLEMS THIS WOMAN SAYS. THEY ARE COMMON IN THE VILLAGES. THERE HAVE BEEN PEOPLE KILLED. THERE IS A LOT OF SHOOTING ON SOME DAYS.

    DESPITE THE MILLIONS OF GUNS STILL LOOSE IN THE COUNTRY, LOCAL ELECTION OBSERVERS, LIKE MIRANDA GACE OF THE SOCIETY FOR DEMOCRATIC CULTURE, SAY PEOPLE WANT AN END TO THE VIOLENCE.

    // GACE ACT IN ALBANIAN, ESTABLISH AND FADE //

    THE ALBANIAN PEOPLE ARE MORE INTERESTED IN HAVING STABILITY IN THE COUNTRY THAN IN PUTTING FORWARD THEIR POLITICAL GOALS, SHE SAYS.

    TO ILLUSTRATE HER ARGUMENT, MS. GACE POINTS TO THE APPROVAL MANY PEOPLE HAVE SHOWN FOR THE COALITION GOVERNMENT OF PRIME MINISTER BASHKIM FINO, WHO WAS APPOINTED EARLIER THIS YEAR AS PART OF A COMPROMISE TO END THE CRISIS.

    PRESIDENT SALI BERISHA, WHOSE DEMOCRATIC PARTY CONTROLS AN OVERWHELMING MAJORITY IN THE PARLIAMENT, SAYS HE IS CONFIDENT HIS PARTY WILL WIN THE VOTE. AND IF THEY DO, HE SAYS, THE NEW GOVERNMENT WILL QUICKLY DEAL WITH THE GANGS AND ARMED CIVILIANS THAT CONTROL MANY TOWNS IN SOUTHERN ALBANIA.

    // BERISHA ACT //

    WE WILL RESTORE ORDER, I'M VERY CONFIDENT OF THAT. I AM DEEPLY CONVINCED OF THAT, IN 75 DAYS OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT WE WILL RESTORE PUBLIC ORDER.

    // END ACT //

    BUT IN THE SOUTH OF THE COUNTRY, WHERE THE UNREST BEGAN, MANY PEOPLE STILL BLAME PRESIDENT BERISHA FOR THE CRISIS, AND ARE DEMANDING HIS RESIGNATION.

    OFFICIALS OF THE PRESIDENT'S DEMOCRATIC PARTY COMPLAIN THEY WERE BLOCKED FROM CAMPAIGNING IN THE SOUTH BUT SAY THEY WILL ACCEPT THE RESULTS OF THE ELECTION IF IT IS RULED FAIR. THE OPPOSITION SOCIALISTS HAVE ALSO EXPRESSED CONFIDENCE ABOUT AN ELECTION VICTORY, AND HAVE OUTLINED PLANS FOR POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC REFORMS, IF THEY SHOULD THEY WIN.

    DURING SUNDAY'S FIRST ROUND OF BALLOTING, VOTERS WILL BE DIRECTLY CHOOSING CANDIDATES FROM 115 DISTRICTS. FORTY OTHER SEATS IN THE NEW PARLIAMENT WILL BE DIVIDED ACCORDING TO THE PROPORTION OF VOTES FOR POLITICAL PARTIES.

    VOTERS WILL ALSO BE ASKED IF THEY WANT TO RESTORE THE MONARCHY.

    IN DISTRICTS WHERE CANDIDATES DO NOT WIN A MAJORITY ON SUNDAY, THE TWO TOP VOTE-GETTERS WILL FACE RUN-OFF ELECTIONS NEXT WEEK.

    DESPITE THE APREHENSIONS, MOST PEOPLE, IN SMALL ALBANIAN VILLAGES LIKE FARKA, SAY THEY HAVE BEEN WELL INFORMED ABOUT THE ELECTION.

    // MAN IN ALBANIAN, ESTABLISH AND FADE //

    WE HAVE BEEN GETTING INFORMATION ON TELEVISION, THIS MAN SAYS. WE HAVE ENOUGH INFORMATION AND WE WILL VOTE ON SUNDAY.

    WESTERN OBSERVERS SAY THEY DON'T EXPECT THE VOTE TO BE PERFECT, BUT THEY ARE HOPING IT WILL GO SMOOTHLY ENOUGH TO GET THE COUNTRY BACK ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY. (SIGNED)
    NEB/KK/DW/KL
    28-Jun-97 10:30 AM EDT (1430 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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