The Complaints and Sanctions Commission (KAS) has removed the fine of 1500 ALL (EUR 12), given by the CEC, against the head of the Lushnja Cadastre, Arben Qalliu.
On January 14, Qalliu was fined for violating the CEC decision not to use public administration in the election campaign.
Qalliu together with the SP deputy, Bujar Çela were found to be distributing legalization permits in Lushnje and using the images on social media as propaganda.
Despite the very small fine, Qalliu appealed the decision.
KAS, led by former Democratic MP Ilir Rusmali, rejected the fine, arguing that the activity Qalliu is accused of took place outside the four-month period before the election date. Also, KAS argued that the activity advertised in the media, “does not constitute a public activity” in the sense of the law as it did not occur in public spaces.
During the meeting Rusmali said:
“From the administered documentation it is proven that the deputy Bujar Çela posed with residents of the administrative unit Hysgjokaj. The posing took place with certificates of ownership in hand, inside apartments, in yards, or at their entrances.
It does not prove that the activity was performed in places open to the public, in squares or community facilities in the area or that the public was invited to the show. “
The decision in the KAS to drop the fine was taken with three votes in favor, including that of Rusmal, and two against.
In December 2020, the CEC decided that the government and officials could not use public resources in promotions, four months prior to the elections.
Since the decision, multiple officials including Mayor of Tirana Erion Veliaj and Prime Minister Edi Rama have violated the decision on multiple occasions. The low fine of just 1500 ALL is unlikely to act as a deterrent.