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.