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Albania president rejects ruling to hold municipal elections

By The News · 28 of June 2019 01:38:24
AP Photo,, No available, Antigovernment protesters take part in a rally in Tirana, Friday, June 21, 2019. The opposition is boycotting the local elections planned for June 30 and has threatened to disrupt them.(AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania’s president has condemned a decision by electoral authorities in favor of holding municipal elections this weekend, calling on the ruling Socialists to hold talks and not carry out an “imaginary” voting process.

President Ilir Meta said Tuesday that full membership negotiations with the European Union wouldn’t open if Albania held Sunday’s elections without the opposition, which is boycotting them.

The Electoral College ruled unanimously Monday that a small political party must take part in Sunday’s vote, a move against Meta’s decision earlier this month to cancel the elections. Meta said he feared the balloting would be “undemocratic” without the participation of center-right opposition parties.

Left-wing Socialist Prime Minister Edi Rama insists the elections will go ahead as scheduled.