As delivered by Ambassador Ian Kelly
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
June 27, 2013
On behalf of the United States of America we congratulate the citizens of Albania on their peaceful and active participation in the June 23 parliamentary elections. Across the country, Albanian citizens turned out in large numbers to exercise what we consider the most basic democratic right – the right to vote.
We support the OSCE/ODIHR election observation mission as well as the joint assessment by ODIHR, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA), and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), which determined that the Albanian people have freely expressed their will at the ballot box. We urge the authorities to finalize the count and process any appeals transparently, quickly, and in accordance with the rule of law.
Now that the people of Albania have made their voices heard, the United States encourages all parties to work together constructively to advance Albania’s democratic and economic development. The hard work of building democracy does not end when the votes are tallied and the winners announced. Political leaders will be judged not only by what they say, but by what they do. When formed, we will encourage the new government to continue to strengthen the rule of law, raise human rights standards, promote transparent and accountable governance, promote economic development, and work toward sustained, democratic reform on the agreed path to membership in the European Union. That is a process which, as before these elections, will also require those in opposition to play a constructive role, and we seek their involvement in Albania’s future as well.
We join with the European Union in welcoming the constructive cooperation between the ODIHR Election Observation Mission and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Election Observation Mission during these Albanian elections, and express our hope that this positive approach will serve as a foundation upon which to reinvigorate the commitments expressed in MC Decision 19/06 and the 1997 Cooperation Agreement.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.