U.S. Embassy: Opposition cannot be ignored

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 29, 2020 22:30

U.S. Embassy: Opposition cannot be ignored

TIRANA, July 29 - The U.S. Embassy in Albania reiterated its call for inclusiveness regarding the recently proposed constitutional amendments for the electoral reform, stating that the extra-parliamentary opposition represents a significant part of the Albanian voters and therefore cannot be ignored.

The Embassy's statement preceded today's parliamentary session, during which deputies will discuss constitutional amendments that pave the way for open lists and banning of pre-election coalitions, as supported by the Socialist majority and parliamentary opposition so far. These proposals have been strongly opposed by the extra-parliamentary opposition, which claims that the SP and the parliamentary opposition are making unilateral decisions.

In its statement, the U.S. Embassy urges parties to follow through with the June 5 agreement, which was achieved through the consensus of both the SP and the extra-parliamentary opposition.

Furthermore, the Embassy emphasized that the extra-parliamentary opposition cannot be ignored despite having given up its mandates, as they "represent a significant portion of Albanian voters."

"All parties must continue to engage so that the laws that are ultimately adopted are the result of a transparent and inclusive process, benefit all of the Albanian people, and continue to move the country forward on its democratic path – this is an obligation that leaders owe to the Albanian people," the statement reads.

The extra-parliamentary opposition last week spoke in favor of opening 100 percent of the lists, but without touching on the coalition formula, strongly opposing "any unilateral change to the Constitution".

Prime Minister Edi Rama also reiterated his position during the parliamentary session yesterday, stating that "the lists will be opened and coalitions will be formed as everywhere across Europe."

According to him, the proposed changes do not exclude the possibility that the lists are opened fully and that such a thing will be determined in subsequent changes in the Electoral Code.

Last Thursday, a striking majority of the parliamentary opposition cast their votes in favor of the June 5 Agreement, thus receiving the support of the Socialists regarding the constitutional changes which allow for an open list system and banning of pre-electoral coalitions.

The opposition has kept its stance towards the approval of the June 5 agreement, claiming that "unilateral constitutional changes that undermine it, as well as the continuation of political dialogue between the parties, is the only way to maintain the reached consensus reached, which has been maintained. note from the partners and increases the chances for the start of Albania's membership talks with the European Union."

"The United Opposition is ready to continue the dialogue in good faith and seriously, on any other issue, without compromising the results of the June 5 Agreement. The renunciation of unilateral acts that undermine the consensus reached after 6 months of efforts, and the commitment of all political parties to reach a consensus on every issue related to the elections, serves Albania and its European future", the statement concludes.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 29, 2020 22:30