Albanian President Ilir Meta has returned to Parliament for revision, the Socialist government’s so-called “law on co-governance.”
According to Meta, the law is illegal as it creates parallel structures that infringe on the competences of the executive branch, and concentrates too much power in the hands of an institution that is directly dependent on the Prime Minister.
The law on co-governance was one of the key pieces of legislation highlighted by Prime Minister Edi Rama during his government’s first meeting in September. It was approved by Parliament on November 4.
The law ostensibly aims to expand public participation in decision-making and increase accountability. It seeks to do so through the establishment of an agency and an online platform that citizens and stakeholders can visit to receive information, leave feedback, and file complaints.
The agency would have a director that answers to the Prime Minister and coordinators at each government institution tasked with investigating complaints and ensuring compliance.
The portal in question (shqiperiaqeduam.al) has a controversial history. It was created in 2017 as part of the Socialist Party’s electoral campaign. Its slogan, “The Albania We Want,” was included in banners across state institutions. At the time, the Central Election Commission (KQZ) accused the ruling Socialist Party of breaking electoral law.
President Meta’s veto echoes concerns raised by the Democratic Party (PD), which accuses the Socialist majority of blurring the lines between the party and the government with this law.
The PD has also criticized the law on co-governance for creating parallel institutions that would siphon citizen complaints towards an agency under the Prime Minister’s control rather than public prosecutors or the complaints’ office at the relevant organizations.