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Democracy in Action activities

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10 July 2013

Press Release

Prishtinė, 16 July 2013 - Democracy in Action organized a round-table discussion with the topic “Elections in Albania – Lessons learned for Kosovo”, which was attended by representatives of political entities, civil society, Central Election Commission and foreign organizations.

During the opening, the Director of DiA, Ismet Kryeziu, said that with the support of OSCE in Kosovo, DiA deployed 8 short term observers in Albania, four of them in Fier, and four in Tirana. In the meantime, the Deputy Director of the OSCE Election Program, Bujar Basha, said that the OSCE believes that the civil society could contribute in advancement of the election process.

The DiA report about the lessons learned from Albania was presented during this round-table. The DiA Coordinator, Dardan Berisha, said among other things that the polling process had gone in a regular manner in all polling centers covered by DiA observers. He also discussed about the pilot projects on the use of technology, saying that the legal framework should not create legal obligations for the CEC to use technology, if it does not provide the CEC with sufficient time for planning and testing such technology. Also, the motive for the use of technology should not be to address the issues related to the electoral fraud, because we there could be fraud even if technology is used.

Alma Lama, member of the parliament of Kosovo, raised the concerns about taking pictures of the ballot, and increase in the transparency of the counting process if the ballots are scanned and displayed on the TV screens. In the meantime, the representative among Vetevendosje, Bojken Abazi, raised the concern about the security during the election process in Kosovo, in order to allow for voters to cast their ballot in a regular manner.

The PDK member of the parliament, Halit Krasniqi, said that election results in Albania showed that we no longer have parties based on regions in Albania, and also mentioned the political culture about the acceptance of election results in Albania by all parties.

During the round-table, members of the Central Election Commission were also invited, who had observed the elections in Albania. Alban Krasniqi, member of CEC from Vetevendosje, mentioned a couple of lessons learned from the elections in Albania, such as: need for increasing the number of polling stations to allow easy access for voters to the polling stations and the professional preparations of the CEC in Albania to administer the election process and publish the results. While discussing about the pros and cons of counting ballots at regional level, Krasniqi said that it is better to do the counting at the regional level, because the polling station commissioners get tired from the election day, and are not even physically able to count the ballots in a regular manner. Admitting that regional counting centers delay the publication of results, Krasniqi said that it is better to publish results later and publish them accurately, rather than having quick and wrong results.