Government of Albania
Few people in the US or abroad took notice of President Joe Biden's memorandum to combat corruption globally -until the Administration began to declare former world leaders personae non grata.
In Albania, the US had repeatedly criticized Prime Minister Edi Rama's Socialist government of corruption, calling it "pervasive in all branches of government," especially in the judiciary.
The CEC, which is tasked with auditing the reports, is still crunching the numbers from the last election, which returned the Socialist Party of Prime Minister Edi Rama for an unprecedented third term in government.
But data from the financial reports seen by BIRN, compared with the going rate for political advertising on television, gives cause for suspicion.
After boycotting Albania's parliament for around two years, one of the first initiatives of the opposition when it returned in September, after losing the April 25 elections, was vetting politicians.
Opposition Democratic Party leader Lulzim Basha has called for the same vetting procedure to be applied to politicians as to justice officials.