Prime Minister Edi Rama has confirmed that despite various appeals from EU Englargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi, members of European Parliament, and EU spokesperson Ana Pinsonero-Hernandez to wait for the opinion of the Venice Commission, they will reaffirm the amendments to the Electoral Code without changes.
During a press conference yesterday, Rama said:
“I explained to the Commissioner in a conversation we had that the government will not wait for a second because we have the elections on 25 April and we cannot start such a spiralling adventure caused by Ilir Meta [the President] who intends to sabotage this process.”
Rama said that the Venice Commission opinion on the changes will be discussed when it comes and if there are to be any changes, they will be addressed after 25 April.”
“That opinion will be discussed with all political forces and any issues that may arise will be discussed after April 25. We have no time to lose and to embark on an adventure,” he said.
Yesterday, Pisonero-Hernandez said that the EU expects those involved to take into account the opinion of the Venice Commission.
She also commented on Varhelyi’s series of tweets.
“You’ve seen the tweets that Commissioner Varhelyi published yesterday and this morning. The decision to leave for consideration to the Venice Commission, the provisions of the Electoral Code of 5 October approved by parliament, belongs to the Albanian authorities.
The European Union believes that the Venice Commission will provide the parties on prompt advice on the implementation of the Constitutional amendments approved by Parliament on 30 July.”
President Ilir Meta had returned the amendments to parliament, refusing to decree them. He then sent a series of questions to the Venice Commission.
Yesterday the Law Commission overturned Meta’s decision to not decree the amendments. The plenary will now vote for the last time tomorrow If they vote in favour once again, the amendments will become law.
The Venice Commission will issue an opinion on changes made by the Albanian parliament to the Electoral Code only in December.
In a reply to President Ilir Meta’s request on Tuesday, the President of the Venice Commission, Gianni Buquicchio has stated that due to the short time remaining before the next session, they cannot authorize the urgent procedure.
President Buquicchio added that an opinion will be prepared under ordinary procedure in December.