President and Opposition Take Steps to Prevent Forced Elections

President Ilir Meta and municipalities controlled by the opposition have taken new steps to prevent the government of Prime Minister Edi Rama and the Central Election Commission (KQZ) from forcing through the local elections.

Ignoring the decree issued by President Meta on Monday, the KQZ has continued the preparations for the elections. Also Parliament has decided to ignore the presidential decree, claiming it is “absolutely invalid.”

Meanwhile, municipalities under the control of the opposition have started to dismantle election infrastructure. Shkodra mayor Voltana Ademi (PD) has requested the KQZ to vacate three locations in the municipality currently used by the Electoral Administration Zone Commission (KZAZ) because the elections have been canceled.

Also Kamza mayor Xhelal Mziu (PD) has requested the KQZ to dismantle the premises of the KZAZ, as well as voting centers planned in his municipality, one of the most densely populated in the country.

Meanwhile, President Meta has responded to the recent parliamentary approval of a resolution calling upon the KQZ to ignore his decree. The President has sent a request to the KQZ asking for the full list of MPs in the Albanian parliament.

According to the Constitution, Parliament should have 140 MPs. Currently, Parliament has 122 without possibility to fill the remaining seats, owing to a boycott of the opposition parties. President Meta’s request could be interpreted as the first move to dissolving Parliament.