Albanian parties strike deal under EU,US pressure
19 May, 2017
Albania's political parties reached a compromise on next month's parliamentary election following intensive talks mediated by a senior US official, news wires reported last Thursday. PM Edi Rama of the governing Socialist Party and Lulzim Basha of the main opposition Democratic Party told reporters they had reached a deal without giving details. The EU office in Tirana tweeted: "Congratulations on agreement for free and fair elections in best interest of all citizens of Albania."
Previously efforts by European and US officials had failed to convince the Democrats to change their position that they would not take part in the parliamentary election, scheduled for 18 June, fearing that Rama's Cabinet would manipulate the vote. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Hoyt Brian Yee last Monday gave Democrats a proposal from European lawmakers and another from Rama as a basis for negotiations, AP reported. Xinhua cited unofficial sources that Basha and Rama agreed on ending the crisis based on an EU-US plan, which includes the voting of the vetting process as part justice reform, the postponement of the parliamentary election and several minister posts approved by the opposition.