Albania premier offers vote-monitoring to opposition

Albania's prime minister has urged the opposition to accept the offer of direct and real-time monitoring of the June 18 parliamentary elections and agree to take part in them.

Edi Rama, also leader of the Socialist Party, said Thursday the government has offered direct monitoring of the voting process with a task force made up of opposition representatives accompanied by monitors from the European Union, the United States and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Rama and Lulzim Basha of the main opposition Democratic Party met Wednesday but failed to reach a compromise.

The opposition has boycotted parliament since February, demanding Rama resign before the June 18 elections out of fear that his Cabinet will manipulate the vote.

European parliamentarians haven't been able to persuade the opposition to change its stance.