Important step to end political crisis in Albania
14. February 2010. | 09:07 09:29
The initiative provides an important opportunity to end the political crisis and to advance the country's reforms and the European integration agenda
“I welcome President Topi's initiative to convene a roundtable meeting of Albanian political leaders on 13 February, in response to the resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on the functioning of democratic institutions in Albania.
The initiative provides an important opportunity to end the political crisis and to advance the country's reforms and the European integration agenda".
Albania's president has started round-table talks with the government and the main opposition party to end a seven-month political crisis over alleged electoral fraud.
Prime Minister Sali Berisha of the ruling Democratic Party and Socialist Party leader Edi Rama, also Tirana mayor, met Saturday at President Bamir Topi's office.
The Socialists have boycotted Parliament for months -- blocking most legislative work -- and staged large protests.
They claim the Democrats manipulated vote-counting in the June 28 national elections and are demanding a recount, which the government has ruled out.
A statement is expected at the end of the talks.
The Democrats control 75 of parliament's 140 seats; the Socialists have 65
Edi Rama of the main opposition Socialist Party said they were determined that recount of the June 28 vote was the indisputable reason for the roundtable which he said should resolve the democratic application of the voting in the future.
Rama also said that together with a group of Socialist leaders and lawmakers they would make a short trip to Strasbourg to talk to their leftist European affiliates for consultation.
On the other side, head of the governing Democratic Party parliamentary grouping, Astrit Ppatozi, hailed the president’s invitation for talks on the crises and at the same time said they hoped that would give an end to the Socialists’ boycott of the parliament.