Albanian Lawmakers Approve Electoral Reforms

TIRANA, Albania July 19, 2012 (AP)

Albania has approved electoral reforms following pressure from the European Union and opposition allegations that past votes have been rigged.

Lawmakers on Thursday voted 127-2 in favor of constitutional amendments that allow greater transparency in the selection of key electoral commission officials and introduce digital voter identity checks in the capital, Tirana. Parliament also approved a pilot project to computerize the vote count in the city of Fier.The changes, which will apply to the next national elections planned for 2013, follow a key request for electoral reform from the EU, which Albania hopes to join. But they do not address small opposition parties’ demands for a national proportional system of representation. The small parties say the current regional system makes it hard for them to gain representation.

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