President of Albania cancels local elections

While the opposition in the country is holding a massive demonstration in front of the prime minister’s office, demanding his resignation, the president of Albania, Ilir Meta has decided to cancel the elections which were scheduled to take place on June 30.

Full statement:

Deeply concerned about the critical situation in the country, consequent to non-reflection from any of the parties;
Considering the urgent necessity to reduce tensions and the unpredictable escalation of conflict in the country;
Taking highest constitutional and institutional responsibility, and convinced that protecting constitutional principles is more important than any legal deadline, as the Head of State and loyal to my oath to safeguard at all costs the stability, social peace and national unity;
Fully aware that the actual circumstances do not provide necessary conditions for true, democratic, representative and all-inclusive elections. Free and fair elections are key Copenhagen criteria and in current circumstances, for lack of accountability by both parties, we are heading towards mono-party elections. In this way every possibility to open accession negotiations with the EU is undermined, the image of Albania as a NATO member is damaged, and Chairmanship in Office of the OSCE in 2020 is jeopardized;