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AMERICANS SUPPORT ANTI-COMMUNIST ALBANIAN ELECTION DRIVE, THE ALBANIAN AMERICAN CIVIC LEAGUE SAYS

 AMERICANS SUPPORT ANTI-COMMUNIST ALBANIAN ELECTION DRIVE,
 THE ALBANIAN AMERICAN CIVIC LEAGUE SAYS
 NEW YORK, March 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Albanian American Civic League:
 Albanians will go to the polls for national elections for only the second time in 50 years on March 22. About a year ago the Albanian Communist Party "won" the election from the fragmented Democratic and Republican parties by creating a very uneven playing field through Party-controlled media and transportation networks before and during the election.
 This time the odds will be a little more even, in an effort to try to bring down one of the last remaining hard-line communist governments in the world through the joint efforts of The Albanian American Civic League and the Free Congress Foundation's Albanian Democracy Project, co-chaired by former U.S. Congressman Joseph J. DioGuardi and conservative leader Paul Weyrich.
 DioGuardi and Weyrich were in Albania in January to organize a coalition of democratic parties and to conduct a seminar on effective democratic campaign techniques. DioGuardi will leave New York tomorrow night for his fifth visit "to lead a convoy of vehicles from neighboring Macedonia to help mobilize the anti-communist forces in the rural areas where communist bosses still control communications, information and transportation. This strangle-hold enables them to control the elections by intimidating the people before and during the actual polling."
 A majority of Albanians live in rural areas where private vehicles are unavailable to transport anti-communist political workers and candidates.
 According to DioGuardi, "The citizens in the many high mountaintop rural areas are threatened by local communist bosses, and to topple them, we have to carry the message of democracy and freedom, and the candidates who espouse these views, to the rural areas as well as the cities.
 "Macedonia, a republic of the former State of Yugoslavia, borders on Albania with many ethnic Albanians. (Some estimate over 1 million.) The drivers will bring their own private vehicles, food and fuel. Coordination will be provided by the joint Albanian Democracy Project team," DioGuardi said.
 DioGuardi added, "I was an official observer last Easter Sunday when the first election was stolen by well-organized and highly disciplined communists. We are delighted that the Free Congress Foundation is joining with us to help mobilize and coordinate this important and historic effort to restore true democracy to the freedom-loving people of Albania. We are fighting great odds in going against one of the most entrenched political and anti- democratic government machines in Europe today, and we are trying to insure a level playing field to give democracy a chance."
 -0- 3/8/92
 /CONTACT: Bill Corbett of William J. Corbett Associates Inc., 516-775-4539, or 914-948-3625, or Fax 516-328-2545, for The Albanian American Civic League/ CO: The Albanian American Civic League ST: IN: SU:


SC -- NYON3 -- 6160 03/08/92 22:24 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 8, 1992
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