Following an official invitation from the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Albania to the OSCE, and based on the findings and conclusions of ODIHR's needs assessment mission, ODIHR has deployed an election observation mission to the 8 May 2011 local elections in Albania.
The mission, headed by Jonathan Stonestreet, consists of 15 international experts based in Tirana. In addition, 24 long-term observers will be deployed throughout the country from 5 April.
The mission will assess the elections for their compliance with OSCE commitments and other international standards for democratic elections, as well as with domestic legislation. Observers will closely monitor campaign activities, the work of the election administration and relevant governmental bodies, election-related legislation and its implementation, the media environment, and the resolution of election-related disputes.
ODIHR will deploy 298 short-term observers shortly before election day. They will be deployed throughout the country in multinational teams of two to monitor the opening of voting centres, the voting, the counting of ballots, and the tabulation of results.
After the elections, ODIHR will issue a statement of preliminary findings and conclusions at a press conference. A final report on the observation of the entire electoral process will be issued approximately eight weeks after the end of the observation mission.
The OSCE/ODIHR EOM and the OSCE Presence in Albania operate separately under their specific mandates.
ODIHR has observed nine elections in Albania since 1996, most recently the 2009 parliamentary elections.