Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
234 Ford House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-6460
Hon. Christopher H. Smith, Chairman
Hon. Benjamin L. Cardin, Co-Chairman
Media Contact: Shelly Han
June 1, 2011


WASHINGTON­—The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) announced today they will hold a briefing next week:

Briefing on Local Elections and Political Instability in Albania

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

HVC-201 (Capitol Visitor Center)

After nearly two years of political impasse resulting from the June 2009 parliamentary elections, Albania held local elections on May 8, 2011. These elections were an opportunity to provide needed credibility to the electoral process and to end the political polarization that has slowed Albania’s democratic transition. Unfortunately, these local elections may see the continuation of the impasse. Albania is a NATO member and aspires for European Union membership as well.

Scheduled to make presentations:

Jonathan Stonestreet, Head of the Election Observation Mission to Albania of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR)

Rob Benjamin, Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe, National Democratic Institute for International Affairs

Janusz Bugajski, Director, New European Democracies and Lavrentis Lavrentiadis Chair in Southeast European Studies, Center for Strategic and International Studies