Albania burns ballots from 2009 general elections


TIRANA, Albania -- The Central Election Commission (CEC) began to burn ballots Friday (January 7th) used during the 2009 general elections, as required ahead of the May 8th local elections. CEC head Arben Ristani described it as "a routine process within the CEC, but unfortunately, it got politicised". The opposition has accused the CEC and the government of "breaking the law" and attempting to hide manipulations committed during those 2009 elections. Disputes over the vote have caused a political crisis in the country, with the opposition insisting the elections were manipulated and marred by serious violations that require a thorough investigation. The first 1,200 boxes that were torched were from Shkodra and Berat, the two regions the opposition insists had the most violations. The deadline to clear all boxes before the May vote is March 5th. (Shekulli, Top Channel, Alsat, Telegrafi - 08/01/11)

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