Republic of Albania: A Technical Assessment of the Election of the Peoples Assembly, March 9 - April 2, 1992
The Albanian General Election for the People's Assembly held on March 22, 1992, heralded the country's long overdue emergence into the European and world communities. As the last of the European communist countries to begin the process of liberalization, the election also marked a moment of special historic significance. The world watched as the last vestiges of one of Europe's most brutal and repressive regimes was overthrown without violence or chaos, but through the democratic process.
With a less than successful attempt at a free and fair multi-party election only one year earlier, and a history which justifiably warranted cautious enthusiasm for the prospects of this election, the mission of the team (consisting of Linda Edgeworth, Election Consultant, and Fabricio Soares, Project Manager) sent by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) was to escort and oversee installation of election commodities donated by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and to provide technical assistance to the newly formed Central Election Commission.
Commodities and equipment including computers, printers, photocopiers, fax machines, typewriters, stamp pads and paper were provided to Albania through IFES and the U. S. Information Agency Regional Program Office in Vienna. The equipment and commodities provided by the U.S. proved critical for the proper administration of the election by the Central Electoral Commission and the Council of Ministers Secretariat as much of the other equipment intended for use during the election was not in place on election day.
IFES joined forces with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) mission in Tirana to provide technical advice on distribution of election commodities and ballot security. Well before election day, IFES enjoyed good access to the Central Electoral Commission and was able to observe the most sensitive aspects of the electoral process.
On election day, IFES and UNDP fielded a joint team to observe elections near the northern border of Albania. Though some minor inconsistencies in the administration of the law were apparent, no organized attempt to defraud the process was encountered during the first round of voting. A second IFES-UNDP team travelled to the South of Albania to observe the second round of elections and also reported no significant irregularities.
The people of Albania are to be commended for the success in holding free, fair and peaceful elections to the People's Assembly in this difficult transitional environment.