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E - 2

Yesterday was spent at the Sheraton where the OSCE election monitoring mission was delivering its pre-election briefing. It was a long day, lightened mostly by the media briefing which included clips from some of the television advertisements and programmes that have aired during the campaign. These included, among other things, comparing Mr Olldashi to a sumo wrestler and a kangaroo, and an 'interview' with Mr Rama that was actually a interview with an empty sofa.

The most striking thing that came out of this briefing is how incredibly complicated the voting process is, especially regarding the key issue of voter identification. I suspect that most of the problems on the day will have less to do with deliberate attempts to affect the outcome than the confusion caused by the process. That said, in the absence of a proper voter registration and identification system, it is hard to see how it could be made any simpler.

Tomorrow - Saturday - is supposed to be a silent day with no campaigning, so today - Friday - has been hectic. The party workers are still plastering up posters by the hundred, using up every available inch of space on every wall. Many of these posters appear to have been pasted on private property, or public buildings, which seems questionable. The outside of our local post office, only recently refurbished, is barely visible beneath the posters.

Given that all the parties are promising to make Tirana a better place to live, it will be interesting to see if they come and remove all this stuff with the same urgency and vigour they showed in putting it up.

The Central Election Commission has also been out putting up posters - rather fewer, but a lot more useful.

Both the main parties are also planning major rallies in the city tonight. The PD are holding theirs in Skenderbeg Square, the PS in Mother Teresa Square. Preparations were under way in both locations when I passed them this morning. I hope to be at one or both with my camera.


Candyland said…
This is so ridiculous. They are littering the place all over for no reason. Albania is so small and all these people are all over the news 24/7 anyway. Do they really need to spend all that money on posters that ruin the looks of the city? I bet they will not be so quick to clean after themselves as they were to make the mess.
Our politians suck, and the only thing they are good at is to destroy, instead of built a country.
Anonymous said…
Any idea what % of the population has a passport? I reckon it is probably more than the 20% in the US and the 25% in Canada.

If there was a 45% voter turnout, it might turn out that only those with passports voted, the rest foregoing the trouble of dealing with inept civil servants.

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Welcome to Our Man in Tirana. I moved to Tirana, capital of Albania, in October 2005 and left in October 2007. This blog is a mix of photographs, reports, links, impressions and, undoubtedly, prejudices relating to the city and the country.

Since I am no longer in Tirana I am no longer updating this blog. However, there are over 300 posts covering this two year period and I hope that they are still of some interest.

So if you are curious about Albania or if you are planning to visit I hope this blog will be of value.

Petrela Castle

This is Petrela Castle near Tirana. The site has been fortified since the 4th century, but the oldest surviving parts are from the 13th century. Today the castle is a restaurant where you can enjoy lunch while taking in the views.