TIRANA, June 24 (Xinhua) -- The Electoral College in Albania voted in favor of holding local elections on June 30, rejecting the decree of President Ilir Meta who decided to cancel election date, local media reported on Monday.
Five judges of the Electoral College rejected unanimously the request of the National Unity Party, a small political party which had asked to deregister from elections based on the president's decision, and declared that the party must take part in Sunday's vote.
The judges declared that the local elections will take place on June 30.
In a reaction to the decision of the Electoral College, Spokesperson of the President Tedi Blushi called the decision "a sketch organized a long time ago."
The main opposition Democratic Party reacted that it does not recognize the Electoral College's decision because a presidential decree can be judged only by the Constitutional Court.
Last week, opposition supporters damaged ballot boxes and other election documentation to prevent the voting preparations in some Albanian cities ruled by the opposition, causing clashes with the state police forces.
The official decision of Meta to cancel June 30 local elections in Albania spurred debates with the ruling Socialist majority accusing Meta of breaking the law.
Meta stated the arguments over his decision to cancel a decree by which he had set June 30 as a local elections date, saying the "tense political situation would not provide the conditions for normal and fair elections in the country."
Meanwhile, since mid-February the Albanian opposition has organized several protests, of which some turned violent. The opposition lawmakers have resigned from their parliament seats, refusing to have dialogue with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, asking him and his cabinet to resign.