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.