One of the institutions engaged in monitoring the elections in Albania has decided to withdraw only a few days before the June 30th elections.

An email to the media indicates that the decision was made by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, in accordance with the rules of the Assembly.

This unexpected decision comes as a result of the continued uncertainty regarding the organization of local elections in Albania on June 30th and the possible security risks for institutions engaged in monitoring processes.

“Following the email hereunder, where we invite you to a meeting with a delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, please be informed that the leadership of the Congress (the President, in consultation with the two Presidents of the Chambers, in accordance with Congress rules) has decided not to deploy a Congress Election Observation Delegation to Albania due to the continued uncertainty concerning the organisation of the local elections in Albania on 30 June and possible security risks in certain deployment areas.

“We apologise for any inconvenience the short-term cancelation may have caused and thank you for your readiness to exchange with the Congress," announced the CoE.

It seems the Council of Europe has made this decision in the wake of the polarization of the political crisis in Albania with the opposition outside the Parliament and the government's decision to continue to hold elections.

The Socialist Party is running with the only candidate across 31 municipalities out of a possible 61.

In total there are 97 mayoral candidates, 11 of which are women.

Albania joined the Council of Europe on July 13, 1995, as the 35th state. With its membership, Albania also accepted the obligations imposed on each member country.

The Council of Europe is an international organization aimed at protecting human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe. It was founded in 1949 and currently boasts 47 member states.