TIRANA, Albania — The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly is joining the international observers’ group that will monitor Albania’s parliamentary election Sunday.

A statement Tuesday said 45 observers from 18 countries will monitor in Albania side-by-side with almost 300 observers deployed by the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.

Holding a free and fair vote and the launch of justice reforms may persuade the European Union that Albania, a NATO member since 2009, is ready to start full membership negotiations.

Post-communist Albania’s ninth parliamentary elections , in which 18 political parties and coalitions are running, are being held after a compromise between the governing Socialist Party and the main opposition Democratic Party, which for three months boycotted parliament over concerns votes would be manipulated.