Opposition begins independent electoral reform

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times October 24, 2019 22:49

Opposition begins independent electoral reform

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  • “This is a clear indication of the united opposition's commitment to electoral reform. From the very first moment that the comprehensive electoral reform with the contribution of all political parties was put forward as a request of the German Bundestag for the opening of negotiations with Albania, the opposition took steps to make its sincere contribution to this reform. We have proposed a mechanism to have a joint product with the other side,” said DP Secretary-General Gazmend Bardhi.

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TIRANA, Oct. 24 – Albania’s opposition Democratic Party prepared on Thursday proposals on two of the main themes of electoral reform related to campaigning and the financing of political parties, as well as the administration of the electoral process. 

A working group of opposition experts is meeting regularly to address electoral reform recommendations.

“This is a clear indication of the united opposition’s commitment to electoral reform. From the very first moment that the comprehensive electoral reform with the contribution of all political parties was put forward as a request of the German Bundestag for the opening of negotiations with Albania, the opposition took steps to make its sincere contribution to this reform. We have proposed a mechanism to have a joint product with the other side,” said DP Secretary-General Gazmend Bardhi.

He stressed that genuine electoral reform is a condition for opening negotiations with the EU, and that the German Bundestag has made it a condition of carrying out a reform with the participation of all political parties.

“Electoral reform has not been and will not be a matter of the monist parliament. It lays down the rules of the game for political parties to compete in elections, so those rules must be established in good faith. The opposition made a concrete and sincere proposal for a mechanism of cooperation with the other party, when in fact it should be the government that should reach out and seek the cooperation of the opposition for the realization of this condition by the Bundestag,” said Bardhi.

He said that the opposition is waiting for a response from the other side to meet its obligations, aware that it faces an irresponsible government and majority.

“As long as there is no justified refusal from the other side to our proposal, this indicates the other side is unwilling to cooperate with the opposition in carrying out electoral reform. The opposition is ready to engage in this reform. The other party should think about opening negotiations with the EU, show accountability in the face of the conditions and criteria set by international partners, and accept the cooperation initiative we have proposed to have a common product of electoral reform,” said Bardhi.

He added that Albanian citizens demand that electoral reform guarantees free and fair elections and that its their vote that determines the government, and not dirty money, cooperation with organized crime and their inclusion in the electoral process.

On the other hand, the Socialist majority has rejected opposition demands for an international electoral reform commission, and has called on oppositionists to dialogue in institutions, denying the presence of a political crisis in the capital.

Socialist leaders reminded the opposition that there is a vacancy for it in the electoral reform commission.

The SP has often expressed its willingness to dialogue with the opposition, even after it resigned from parliament in February.

“The best example of our readiness for dialogue with the opposition is the fact that the Reform Commission is also left with a vacant chair for the Democratic Party to exercise its right to make proposals. Next year Albania will take over the presidency of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, so electoral and judicial reforms are obligations,” said Balla.

He stressed that “without depoliticizing the election commissions, we have not made electoral reform in Albania. 

Despite repeated invitations and statements, signs of dialogue between Albanian political forces are still not to be seen. 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times October 24, 2019 22:49