During an interview on Euronews Albania, the former Ambassador of the United States to Albania, Alexander Arvizu, appealed to politicians to refrain from conflicts and attacking one another.
Arvizu said the first incidents during the election period come as no surprise, but emphasized that it is up to the people to decide “what is best for themselves, their families, and country”.
“It is important to vote, it really is, to not lose hope, the vote does matter”, appealed Arvizu to Albanian citizens.
During the interview, the former ambassador recalled the 2011 local elections and parliamentary elections held in 2013 and the harsh rhetoric used by politicians at the time, but “at the end, both elections were seen as credible”. Having said that, Arvizu asserted that his expectations for the upcoming elections are that they will “also be credible”.
“People just need to focus on the policies, and get away from personality conflicts, from attacking each other, using the media… I know it is easy to say and in reality, it’s not that easy. But people just need to make a choice and decide what’s best for them, their families, and their country”, said the former US Ambassador to Tirana.
The American diplomat said that he has been following the recent developments in Albania, such as the changes in the electoral code. According to him, the elections will be a test for the main parties and the American diplomacy expects “a peaceful and regular process”.
“The vote does matter and the change is possible only if people show up for the election, whether you vote for the majority, whether you vote for the opposition. Change is not possible either way unless the citizens vote”, said Arvizu in his message to Albanian voters.
On the 30-year anniversary of the re-establishment of the relations between the two nations, the American diplomat praised Albania as “a wonderful friend of the United States”.
He asserted that “more can be done” to help achieve democratic standards, but added that democracy is a “process” and maintained that it is crucial that “Albania goes forward in the current path”, hinting at the ongoing reforms, including here in the judiciary.
According to the American diplomat, the US “should be more involved” in the Western Balkans in terms of investments and politics, because “there are many forces working in the region, but not all of them are positive and democratic”.
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