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Albania changes election committee ahead of June poll despite concern from US, EU

Lawmakers in Albania have voted to replace a member of the country's election commission ahead of a national poll on June 23, prompting sharp criticism from the European Union and the United States.

Parliament late Monday voted 74-0 to replace an official on the seven-member Central Election Commission. The official had been backed by a small party that recently left the coalition government to join the opposition.

Post-Communist Albania has failed in the past to meet international election standards, and the U.S. ambassador to Albania, Alexander Arvizu, said the committee change had put Albania on a "collision course" with the international community.

The European Union also expressed concern ahead of a scheduled visit to Tirana later Tuesday by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.