Socialist majority prepares constitutional amendments

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 22, 2020 11:13

Socialist majority prepares constitutional amendments

TIRANA, July 20 - The Socialist majority and the parliamentary opposition have agreed to vote on the electoral code changes regarding the June 5 Agreement and constitutional amendments that pave the way for open lists in the upcoming days.

During Tuesday's meeting between the leaders of the parliamentary opposition groups as well as Prime Minister Edi Rama, the parties decided that the voting on the Electoral Code changes which are stipulated in the June 5 agreement will take place on July 23. As regards the constitutional amendments which allow for an open-list system, voting is expected to take place on July 30.

The parties also vowed to "continue the dialogue between the parliamentary groups and to promote and support the dialogue between them and the extra-parliamentary opposition, in a comprehensive process with the aim of reaching the widest possible agreement for the reflection in the Electoral Code of the constitutional amendments.”

However, the non-parliamentary opposition is not willing to back off from is initial stance. According to the Democratic Party, constitutional amendments agreed upon by the SP and parliamentary opposition are unilateral.

The opposition reiterated its firm stance that "the unilateral constitutional amendment to ban electoral coalitions undo both the political agreements for the elections, that of January 14 and that of June 5. Today's act is evidence of Edi Rama's diabolical plan to initially approve the June 5 Agreement for the facade, to ridicule our strategic partners, the US and the EU, and only 1 week later to repeal the agreement with unilateral constitutional changes, which prohibit coalitions.”

Furthermore, the opposition accused Prime Minister Rama of lying about the idea behind the open lists as his only purpose is to ban pre-electoral coalitions.

In a joint statement, representatives of the non-parliamentary opposition warn that "Rama's violations of the agreements of 14 January and 5 June constitutes a dangerous act with unpredictable consequences for the stability of the country. This unprecedented act in 30 years of pluralism is also a serious breach of the trust of the US and EU strategic partners who invested, hailed and continue to insist on the implementation of the June 5 Agreement without any changes and without constitutional changes that destroy it."

However, despite strong reactions by the non-parliamentary opposition, the amount of signatures in yesterday's meeting seem to be reassuring to the majority that there will be enough votes to pass the amendments in the upcoming days. "We have had encouraging signals from the leaders of the other two groups, I believe, although it would be good for Mr. Murrizi's group to join, that we will pass the law, despite the fact that there is a community of individuals on the side of the parliamentary opposition with parliamentary groups there are also individuals who do not have groups, " Rama said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Rama called on the extra-parliamentary opposition to join a second meeting which is expected to take place at 17:00. However, the SMI seems to have rejected the invitation after its deputy chairman once again accused Rama of lying about the June 5 agreement.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 22, 2020 11:13