Political Crisis Resolved With Election Deal — Albania

Democratic Party leader Basha speaks to his supporters during a protest against the government in front of Prime Minister Rama's office in Tirana

Democratic Party leader Basha speaks to his supporters during a protest against the government in front of Prime Minister Rama's office in Tirana

The one-on-one meeting between Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and DP head Lulzim Basha ended at around 01:15 on Thursday with both peers coming to the much-awaited agreement, which was based on "McAllister Plus" package.

Previous efforts by European and USA officials had failed to convince the Democrats to change their position that they wouldn't take part in the election, fearing that Rama's Cabinet would manipulate the vote.

Basha said the agreement would be "detailed in the next 24 hours".

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Hoyt Brian Yee mediated the agreement after other attempts at mediation by the worldwide community failed.

The agreement included that senior opposition officials can monitor the election process.

The Albanian opposition, led by the Democratic Party, had been protesting and boycotting the parliamentary works since February 18.

"Everything has changed and what was considered impossible months ago is now a reality", Basha said. The agreement opens the way to free and fair elections.

The opposition has had to abandon its demand for Rama to step down as Prime Minister, however.

As part of the agreement, opposition representatives will also run the Central Electoral Commission and the office of Ombudsman.

Albania's ruling and opposition parties on Thursday unveiled a package of measures that form part of the deal on all parties taking party in the next elections, which have been postponed to June 25.

Two German lawmakers who wrote the compromise proposal, David McAllister and Knut Fleckenstein of the center-right and left-wing groupings at the European Parliament, said they were "delighted that the EU and United States mediation to end the political crisis in ALB has been successful".