Electoral Commission Starts Substituting Opposition MPs

After Speaker of Parliament Gramoz Ruçi notified the Central Election Commission (KQZ) of the 57 seats vacated by the opposition so far, it has started the procedure to replace the opposition MPs with candidates ranked below them on the electoral lists from 2017.

Some of those contacted by the KQZ to hand in their decriminalization form already declared to reject their mandate through social media.

Ina Haxhija, who would replace former Prime Minister Sali Berisha, responded: “I’m sorry, but I  can’t replace him!”

Candidate MPs have 10 days to provide their decriminalization forms, and will automatically forfeit their mandate if they don’t do so within 30 days. It is unclear what the opposition’s procedure for the rejection of this new set of mandates will be, as the opposition, Speaker Ruçi, and the KQZ already accepted the technically illegal manner in which the opposition resigned from their mandates.

According to Electoral Code art. 164, MPs should individually and in person state their resignation in front of the Mandates Commission of Parliament. The opposition MPs, however, resigned by means of a written declaration.

A few opposition MPs have refused to hand in their mandates. LSI MP Lefter Maliqi and PD MP Myslym Murrizi. Murrizi was ejected from the PD as a result.

PD MP Rudina Hajdari, daughter of PD founder Azem Hajdari also appears to refuse to resign. Former PD MP Gert Bogdani has stated that in that case also her party membership would be revoked. Appealing to multiple international politicians, Hajdari tweeted “Good to know!”