Albania’s electoral campaign season officially began yesterday, leading to national elections on April 25. The United States welcomes the official start of the campaign season and, together with local authorities and international parties, will make all efforts to support the elections through to their successful conclusion.
We call on all parties, leaders, and voters to engage fully and responsibly in the exercise of their rights and responsibilities. We urge parties to present ideas and candidates that reflect respect for voters. We expect leaders to demonstrate leadership, including by ensuring their parties and candidates abide by electoral laws and international standards, clearly rejecting violence, and demonstrating that they would indeed be worthy of leading and representing Albania. We encourage voters to hold parties and candidates to account, consider their options, and vote for those parties and candidates who offer the best future for Albania – a future in partnership with the United States, one that propels Albania towards full membership in the European family as a strong and prosperous democracy. The media, too, should play its role responsibly and ethically, by asking tough questions on behalf of the public and demanding real answers from candidates. We also expect civil society to play its important role throughout the electoral process. Throughout, we hope all parties, leaders, and voters will conduct themselves with dignity and, more importantly, respect for this most basic and important exercise of democracy. The people of Albania deserve no less.
As your friend and ally, the United States has made clear our expectations and hopes. We reiterate that we will hold leaders to account. In this regard, it should go without saying that those currently in office have the first and heaviest responsibility to act in the interests of the nation. We will take appropriate action in response to those who accept or promote violence, accept or promote violations of electoral laws and international standards, or attempt to otherwise undermine the integrity of and confidence in the electoral process and its results.