Albanian elections criticized by international observers

Ballot boxes are placed at a central counting center in Tirana, Monday, July 1, 2019. Voters cast ballots without disruption Sunday in Albania, where opposition leaders had threatened to interfere with municipal elections they boycotted as part of an anti-government protest campaign that earlier produced injuries and arrests. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)
Election officials count ballot papers at a central counting centre in Tirana, Albania, Monday, July 1, 2019. Voters cast ballots without disruption Sunday in Albania, where opposition leaders had threatened to interfere with municipal elections they boycotted as part of an anti-government protest campaign that earlier produced injuries and arrests. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)
Audrey Glover, head of the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights speaks during a new conference in Tirana, Monday, July 1, 2019. Voters cast ballots without disruption Sunday in Albania, where opposition leaders had threatened to interfere with municipal elections they boycotted as part of an anti-government protest campaign that earlier produced injuries and arrests. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)
Election officials count the ballot papers at a central counting center in Tirana, Monday, July 1, 2019. Voters cast ballots without disruption Sunday in Albania, where opposition leaders had threatened to interfere with municipal elections they boycotted as part of an anti-government protest campaign that earlier produced injuries and arrests. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)

TIRANA, Albania — International observers say Albania's political parties showed little regard to voters during weekend elections.

In a preliminary report on the June 30 municipal elections, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights said "voters were pressured by all political sides."

The elections for mayors and local council members are set to be won convincingly by the ruling Socialist Party as they were boycotted by the opposition.

President Ilir Meta moved to cancel the elections, saying they would be undemocratic without the opposition. Prime Minister Edi Rama refused to do so.

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