Washington, 1 November 1996 (RFE/RL) -- The U.S. State Department today said Sunday's local elections in Albania were "sufficiently democratic" to be accepted as an expression of the will of the people.
State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said the United States, like other nations and organizations monitoring the elections, "view these local elections as a positive step forward for Albania."
"We're pleased that the governing and opposition parties worked together through an inter-party dialogue to lay the groundwork for orderly elections," he said.
However, Burns noted U.S. and international observers have expressed concerns about voting irregularities with the central electoral commission.
"We urge the commission and the Albanian government to fully address these concerns of ours, and we look to the Albanian government to build on these local elections by establishing an open and inclusive political process and by developing a constitution," he said.
Burns said the United States is also urging the Albanian government to follow the adoption of a constitution by holding a popular referendum and parliamentary elections.