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Albania: International Mediators Meet Party Leaders

Tirana, 26 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - The top international mediator for Albania held meetings with the leaders of the country's main political parties today in the run up to Sunday's general elections.

Franz Vranitzky of the Organization for Security and Cooperaton in Europe met with Socialist Party leader Fatos Nano and Democratic Party chairman Tritan Snehu in Tirana. No details of the meetings were immediately available.

Meanwhile, uncertainty remains over whether Albania's polling places will be closed before dark to guarantee the safety of international election observers.

Albanian President Sali Berisha said today that he supports, but does not have the legal power, to order an early closing. All of Albania's political parties have also said they support closing the polls earlier than the legally designated 9 p.m. local time. Correspondents say a change requires approval from the constitutional court, but there is no indication if or when the court will consider the issue.

The elections in Albania are aimed at producing a parliament and then a government to restore stability after an armed insurrection following the failure of high-risk investment schemes.