The Venice Commission opined that the Albanian Constitutional Court does not have the power to review the constitutionality of the 2019 local elections.
Voice of America (VOA) broke the news after consulting the draft opinion of the Commission that will be approved tomorrow.
The 2019 local elections in Albania took place five months after the opposition parties resigned their mandates from parliament and refused to take part in the local elections.
This led the PS to sweep to victory in all but one municipality. Despite voter turnout being at one of the lowest rates ever, the PS took almost every municipality in the country due to lack of any opposition.
The elections were heavily criticized both locally and internationally due to the fact that voters had no meaningful choice.
The Association of Municipalities, chaired by Mayor of Shkodra Voltana Ademi, brought the case before the Constitutional Court.
In July 2021, the Constitutional Court addressed the Venice Commission on the issue of the constitutionality of the elections. The questions they asked included whether or not they have the power to review the constitutionality of the electoral process, whether the constitutional principle prevails over the periodicity of elections, and whether the voters’ right to vote had been violated.