UNDP supports 21 June Local Elections in AlbaniaJun 19, 2015
Voters go to the polls on Sunday in Albania to elect Mayors and Council members in the country’s sixty-one new local municipalities. In the months leading up to Election Day, UNDP has been supporting the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Albania and other stakeholders to help increase professionalism and transparency in the electoral process.
Territorial and Administrative Reform fundamentally changes Albania’s local governance. To help voters make more informed decisions about their local leaders, UNDP and partners Albania analyzed voter education needs. Following this, UNDP supported the CEC with an interactive map of the new municipalities, showing the candidates and parties who are standing for Mayors and the Municipal Councils.
UNDP held workshops on both Gender and Elections (with UN WOMEN) and Electoral Dispute Resolution. Over 50 participants from the CEC, the Electoral College, Court of Appeals, and civil society participated in these.
UNDP also supported the CEC with an animated training video for voting center officials. This video is currently available on the CEC website and is being used by the national TV broadcaster as a source of electoral education for voters.
A shorter version of the video is also available in English, for international observers. A link to this video can be found on the CEC’s web page for observers. The video has been used to help train multiple observer delegations, such as the OSCE/ODIHR.
UNDP has also assisted the CEC with several key election administration improvements. A new database for the registration of parties and candidates was developed in advance of the 2015 campaign, which is fully integrated into other CEC software applications, such as the tabulation of results and allocation of mandates in the different electoral contests.
A political finance reporting module is also being developed, and is expected to be ready for use by the CEC in the post-election period.
Noting the challenges in Election Day communication and logistics with the more than 5,000 voting centers across the country, UNDP and the CEC are also developing a new voting center software application. This program will connect the voting centers directly to the CEC through 3G and GPRS communication and will enable the CEC to have live and instant data directly from the voting centers – on such things as the receipt of election materials, opening of the voting, hourly turnout and closing. The program will be piloted on Sunday in voting centers in three regions of the country to better understand its potential for adoption nationwide in future elections.
These interventions are supported by the Government of Sweden and UNDP.