June 27, 2023

Albania Jails Elected Greek Mayor

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by Uzay Bulut, Research Fellow

Two days before the mayoral elections of Albania on May 14, Dionysis-Fredi Beleri, a Greek candidate for Mayor of the southern municipality of Himara, was arrested by Albanian special forces on May 12.

The arrest was based on charges of allegedly “buying of votes.”

The arrest, however, did not stop Beleri from winning the election from behind bars. He is now the elected mayor of Himara – a town with a significant Greek community presence. Beleri represents the Unity for Human Rights Party (KEAD) of the ethnic Greek minority and was supported by the opposition coalition.

The Greek minority makes up Albania’s largest ethnic minority. It is an indigenous minority and recognized by Albania as a national minority.