Albania’s majority and opposition have clashed again over constitutional changes supported by the ruling socialists.
The Socialist Party and parliamentary opposition have already passed constitutional changes in the Parliamentary Committee for Legal Affairs, which stipulate that voters will be able to rank some of the party candidates in elections. They plan to change the Electoral Code afterwards, to include a single candidate list for each pre-electoral coalition. Currently, the Electoral Code allows for candidate lists for each party in the coalition.
The opposition has proposed fully open candidate lists, instead of partially open ones, in which voters can rank all MP candidates. They oppose changes regarding pre-electoral coalitions.
On Sunday, Socialist MP Daminan Gjuknuri listed majority’s reasons why pre-electoral coalitions cannot be allowed in their current form, namely with multiple party candidate lists:
– Voters would be confused by the long ballot paper containing all MP names, which will lead to an increase in invalid ballots;
– The vote count time will be extended;
– Given that every candidate has the right to contest the counting, the final result of elections will be delayed indefinitely.
He called on the opposition to agree with his party’s proposal in order to avoid “chaos, contamination of the voting process and instability.”
In his reply on behalf of the Democratic Party, Gazmend Bardhi shared an audio of the Albanian Electiongate. In these prosecution wiretaps published by the Bild, Gjiknuri is heard discussing voting results with an alleged underworld boss who is presenting him his achievements in getting votes for the Socialists in 2016.
Bardhi accused Prime Minister Edi Rama of attempting to change the Constitution unilaterally in his party’s benefit.
“Elections were damaged by Edi Rama’s coalition with organized crime and not by pre-electoral coalitions of political parties,” he replied to Gjiknuri’s arguments.