OSCE meeting fails to initiate electoral reform dialogue among political sides

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times September 24, 2019 10:13

OSCE meeting fails to initiate electoral reform dialogue among political sides

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  • Further on, local political experts who attended the meeting said it was largely attended by representatives of “ghost parties” which receive close to no votes during elections and barely represent a part of the population, thus doubting the effectivity of the OSCE meeting in genuinely inciting constructive debate regarding the drafting of the electoral reform.

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TIRANA, Sept. 25 – The OSCE and the Parliamentary Special Commission for Electoral Reform organized on Wednesday in Tirana a conference with representatives of political parties in the country on a comprehensive electoral reform, but opposition parties only stayed briefly at the meeting, claiming their interests are not properly represented. 

Head of the OSCE Office in Albania Ambassador Bernd Borcshardt said at the opening of the meeting that electoral reform should continue and that the OSCE Presence offers a chance for dialogue, where all political forces are included and conclude this key process.

“I am pleased to see that part of the opposition that resigned from parliament today is part of this important dialogue, here on the panel, and I hope this is a promise that it will become part of a constructive process. The country needs dialogue and unity, on the eve of taking over the OSCE Presidency next year,” Borchardt said.

The US Embassy in Albania also welcomed the opposition’s participation in the roundtable.

“Basha’s efforts demonstrate genuine leadership on a key issue for the further strengthening of Albania’s democratic institutions. The United States supports the adoption of reforms pushed by OSCE / ODIHR election experts so that Albania can conduct elections that are free from coercion, political pressure, and vote rigging. The Albanian people deserve nothing less than this,” the US embassy statement said.

The roundtable continued with a word from the organizers and a Democratic Party technical representative. 

Lawyer Ivi Kaso said that electoral processes in Albania have problems many times greater than the mere model of the electoral system, from threatening voters to selling votes and stealing them. 

The Democratic Party’s technical representative left the conference after its start. 

Shortly thereafter, representatives of other smaller parties also left, claiming equal treatment in the face of electoral laws, where, according to them, often the two largest parties receive the largest share of funds and commissions.

Although the theme of the conference was inclusive, namely, “Denied by the system: the establishment of a comprehensive system for the protection of democracy”, political forces expressed one-sided interests and the debate did not go on long enough to reach a clear conclusion.

Further on, local political experts who attended the meeting said it was largely attended by representatives of “ghost parties” which receive close to no votes during elections and barely represent a part of the population, thus doubting the effectivity of the OSCE meeting in genuinely inciting constructive debate regarding the drafting of the electoral reform. 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times September 24, 2019 10:13