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The Venice Commission has adopted the final opinion on the constitutional changes and amendments to the Electoral Code

  • 12/11/2020 3:31 PM
The Venice Commission has adopted the final opinion on the constitutional changes and amendments to the Electoral Code

The Venice Commission has adopted the final opinion on the constitutional changes and amendments to the Electoral Code. This opinion of Venice comes after the request made by the President of Albania, Ilir Meta. In this final document it is learned that no change requested by President Meta has been approved. According to the final report, the changes are in line with the best standards in elections according to the definitions in the code of good practices in elections. The Commission criticizes the actions of burning the mandates by the extra-parliamentary opposition as an act against the European electoral heritage and can not be critical today when it left the institutional process on the road.

The report also states that the Assembly is legitimate as long as it has all the necessary quorums for any decision-making. Venice experts have also mentioned the much-debated issue of coalitions. They have stated that the coalitions according to the legal changes are in line with the standards. The Venice Commission has not analyzed the parliamentary procedure and does not say that there is a standard for the length of such a procedure for constitutional changes. The Assembly has clarified the observance of procedures and deadlines in the constitution and its regulations as well as public consultation. The Venice Commission, in its recommendations, emphasizes the need for all parties to contribute to the organization of the elections of April 25, 2021, and legal changes are recommended after the elections.

This opinion today is a confirmation of the draft opinion of 'Venice' a few days ago, where it made 4 recommendations to the Albanian authorities to respect them before the April 25 elections. Recommendation 2 calls for "avoiding any new amendments to the Electoral Code before the next parliamentary elections" and in particular "constitutional restrictions should not change". Practically with this recommendation, the Venice Commission rejects the claims of President Meta and the united opposition to once again change the amendments to the constitution and the Electoral Code already voted by parliament.

On October 5, the Albanian Parliament approved the amendments to the Electoral Code with 97 votes in favor, 15 against and 6 abstentions. These changes came as a result of the opening of the lists and the constitutional changes adopted on 30 July. The amendments to the Electoral Code stipulate that the national threshold will be 1%, there will be a re-ranking of the first part of the list of candidates based on preferential votes, it entitles the party chairman to run in 4 constituencies simultaneously and that to cross the threshold of the list, the candidates are set a threshold of 10 thousand votes as well as the abolition of composite coalitions and candidacy with a single list. With 97 votes, the Albanian Parliament overturned the decree of President Ilir Meta, who returned to the Assembly the changes in the Electoral Code.

/Klara Ruci/