OSCE observers begin monitoring Albania's June 18 vote

An international security agency has formally launched its election observation mission for Albania's June 18 parliamentary election.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights on Tuesday said it has deployed 26 long-term observers and has requested 300 short-term ones from its 57 member countries except Albania.

The mission will monitor Albania's parliamentary vote in which 15 political parties are running. The main opposition, however, has not registered for the vote, claiming the government will manipulate the ballot.

The opposition has boycotted parliament since February, also blocking the justice reforms that Albania, a NATO member since 2009, should start before being able to launch full membership negotiations with the European Union.